Edinburgh University Declaration:
The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity, and the University is committed to continuing to play a leading role in creating a more sustainable world through its research, teaching and operations.
We have already pledged to become carbon neutral by 2040 – 10 years earlier than recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
The University is on track to halve its carbon emissions – relative to its expenditure – by 2025, compared with 2007/8 levels. It is also reviewing options that include low carbon heating and lower carbon travel, to help meet the 2040 target. We have received a £5 million interest-free loan from the Scottish Funding Council to deliver a raft of energy reduction projects.
We are also committed to responsible investment. In 2015, we divested from coal and tar sands and, in 2018, announced our intention to fully divest from fossil fuels by the start of 2021.
The University takes a whole-institution approach to tackling climate change and continues to undertake a wide range of research and teaching on the issue.
We are a global leader in climate change research. In 2018, we helped China to launch its first Low Carbon College, in Shanghai. We are also continuing to develop opportunities for our students and staff to learn about climate change and encouraging them to reduce their own footprint. We conduct leading research on the real world impacts of the climate crisis on the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged and its implications for gender, for development, for poverty and for those already facing disadvantage and will expand this work over time.