Goldsmiths University bans beef to combat climate change

Climate experts say beef has a large carbon footprint

Monday, August 12, 2019

Goldsmiths University has banned beef and will phase out single-use plastics as part of “urgent action to cut carbon use”.

The London-based university said it will remove all beef products from sale from next month and plans to become carbon neutral by 2025.

Other environmentally-friendly pledges include switching to a renewable energy provider, divesting from fossil fuels by December and donating students’ clothes and bicycles to local charities.

Students will face a 10p levy on bottles of water and single-use plastic cups when the academic year starts to encourage green behaviour.

Newly installed college warden Professor Frances Corner said “declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words”.

“The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore,” she said.

“I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organisations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use.”

Goldsmiths said the college is responsible for around 3.7 million kilograms of carbon emissions each year, the equivalent output of more than 800,000 cars.

The move has been backed by the students’ union, with president Joe Leam calling the pledge “only the beginning”.

Greenpeace UK spokeswoman Rosie Rogers said she was encouraged to see the university “not simply declaring a climate emergency, but acting on it”.

“We call on others to urgently follow suit, and to include cutting all ties from fossil fuel funding in their climate emergency response,” she said.

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