Climate Commission meets for the first time

15 Nov 2019

The Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education students and leaders met for the first time this week.

The Climate Commission is led by EAUC, Guild UK, UUK and AoC was launched on Wednesday 13 November with over 50 Principals and Vice Chancellors meeting in the Council forum to discuss how the leader from universities and colleges will work together along with students in an unprecedented way to tackle the climate crisis.

The focussed debate reached universal agreement that the combined sector needs to be ambitious, move fast and identify a blueprint of actions that can be implemented quickly.  FE and HE institutions will be supported by the Council members of Principals and VC’s along with external partners and agencies as required. The blueprint will provide ideas and options that provide instant low cost positive impact alongside medium- and longer-term actions. The aim is that Colleges and Universities will demonstrate their collaboration and importance to inform the actions of a future UK government in meeting its Carbon targets. The Government will be hosting COP 26 in Glasgow in 2020 and it’s a timely opportunity to remind new ministers that with over 5 million students and a combined turnover of £44bn, the two sectors have the reach and influence to make a substantial difference now and in the future. The afternoon session was opened by Lord Debden, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change and involved external partners and stakeholders.

The Commissioners will now review the output from the day and evaluate the feedback from sector leaders to create a blueprint of what FE and HE leaders can take forward with their staff and students. The blueprint will be considered by Council members early in the new year and Council will consult locally with colleagues, supported by EAUC, Guild HE, UUK events and AoC events.  The Commissioners will ensure that there is regular communication to sectors leaders and ensure students and the youth voice are paramount and represented throughout the lifecycle of the Commission.  If you require more information or want to find out how you can be involved please contact Ian Munro.