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Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education Leaders

25 October 2019

The Association of Colleges has been invited to join as founding partners along with Universities UK, Guild HE and EAUC to develop a climate commission for sector leaders. Universities and colleges should be at the forefront of tackling the climate emergency. Education institutions have the potential to be uniquely powerful in raising the profile of these issues and helping to tackle them. Colleges and universities help educate the next generation of leaders and can empower them to create a sustainable future. As large, complex organisations, often large employers with huge purchasing power, they can reflect on their own services and also help provide innovative solutions through the actions they have taken and research that they conduct. Many universities and colleges have taken proactive and positive steps to play their part in tackling the climate emergency, and students have often been the ones to lead on this. However, there is still much more that could be done by the sector through a more strategic and joined-up approach. On 1 May 2019, MPs declared a climate and environment emergency which is being adopted by an ever-increasing number of colleges, universities and sector agencies. The UK government has legislated to achieve net zero emissions on all Green House Gas emissions by 2050 under the 2008 Climate Change Act. We will ensure that the work of this new commission will also inform aspects of the Independent Commission on the College of the Future.