Majority of UK Universities Have Failed to Meet Carbon Reduction Goals

United Kingdom Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Dec 12, 2022

United Kingdom

The majority of universities across the United Kingdom have not managed to achieve their carbon reduction goals, data released recently have revealed.

The higher education sector in the UK was expected to reduce carbon emissions controlled by institutions by 43 percent over a period of 15 years, specifically between 2005/06 and 2020/21 academic years, The Guardian has reported.

According to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), also published by the People and Planet University League to list universities based on their efforts to reduce carbon emissions, 59 percent of universities in the country have not met the goal of reducing emissions.

The climate justice campaigns manager at People and Planet, Laura Clayson, said that although 100 universities in the United Kingdom have announced the “exclusion of fossil fuel companies from their investment portfolios,” only 60 remained committed, a drop from 76 last year, which she described as concerning decrease.

“Severing investment ties with the fossil fuel industry is an important first step for universities to act upon their responsibility to communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis and fossil fuel extraction impacts. We hope to see a sharp increase in policy exclusions in next year’s league in line with this,” Clayson was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

Data show that this year, Cardiff Metropolitan University scored 100 percent for carbon reduction, the University of Bedfordshire scored 88 percent, whereas Manchester Metropolitan University scored 60 percent for carbon reduction, worth 9 percent of the total score.

Some other universities classified as first-class institutions scored as follows:

  • The University of Reading - 50 percent
  • University of The Arts London - 38 percent
  • University of Exeter - 58 percent
  • University College London - 43 percent
  • University of Greenwich - 90 percent
  • University of Salford - 80 percent
  • Bangor University - 58 percent
  • Nottingham Trent University - 23 percent
  • King's College London - 38 percent

Meanwhile, the University of Oxford has dropped 16 places, ranking 40th, whereas Cambridge fell to 86th place.

Last year, a total of 140 universities in the United Kingdom supported various commitments related to climate action presented by Universities UK, the organization representing the country’s universities. Universities were also committed to supporting the government in reducing carbon emissions by 78 percent by 2035.

This summer, the University of Sydney announced that the world’s best universities will come together to discuss how they can help create more sustainable communities and cities.

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