UWE Bristol celebrates as UN agreement on climate change goes live

Issue date: 01 November 2016


Solar array at Frenchay campus

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) welcomes the historic UN Paris agreement on climate change which comes into force on 4 November 2016.

Under the Paris Agreement, the signatories have agreed to take action to combat climate change and to unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future that will keep a global average temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius, with the accepted international aim of working to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is particularly important as the global CO2 concentration has for the first time exceeded 400ppm.

UWE Bristol has committed to a series of policies, plans and targets which support the sustainability agenda and the achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goals as well as taking initiatives and measures which put these into practice.

The University has demonstrated commitment to decarbonisation, through projects such as the creation of the largest solar array in UK Higher Education and installation of a combined heat and power system on Frenchay Campus, as well as a recent decision to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.

UWE Bristol was the first UK University to receive the NUS Responsible Futures Accreditation, under the full scheme. This accreditation recognises the partnership working by the Students' Union at UWE Bristol and the University to promote and embed education for sustainable development (ESD) in its curricula, help students to understand the sustainability challenge facing society and prepare them to contribute to the green and low-carbon economy.

Over 600 students are signed up to The Green Team, organised by the Students' Union at UWE. The group are passionate about exploring ways to create positive change on campus and in the Bristol Community, through student-led sustainability projects, training, activities, talks, workshops and volunteering.

The University and the Students' Union have been shortlisted for seven awards in this year's Green Gown Awards, which recognise​ exceptional sustainability initiatives in universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK and Ireland. The winners are announced on 10 November at a ceremony in Leicester.

Professor James Longhurst, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability at UWE Bristol, who has been nominated for a Green Gown Leadership award, said, “We are delighted to welcome this historic and important day. UWE Bristol is proud of the initiatives so far taken and of the commitment of staff and students to sustainability. There are many ways in which the University plays a part in contributing to sustainability goals and we will continue to expand our efforts in this area.”

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