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Taking action to tackle climate change

A group of students and staff at the University of St Andrews has been recognised for its innovative ideas to tackle climate change at a local level, with a funding award of £90,000 from the Scottish Government.

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. Overwhelmingly, scientists, economists and politicians agree that everyday activities are emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to climate change. As a result we are trapping more of the sun’s heat and the planet is getting hotter.

Transition University of St Andrews (TUSA) is a student-staff group set up in recognition of the fact that while there are lots of things we can do as individuals to reduce our carbon emissions, but that by working as communities we can do even more.

The grant, from the Climate Challenge Fund, will be used to support a 12-month project aiming to save over 400 tonnes of carbon emissions. The project will include:

  • Skill-sharing workshops for students on energy efficiency
  • Educating students about recycling issues
  • Bike-share schemes
  • A series of Carbon Conversations – encouraging discussion within the student community

As well as significantly reducing emissions, these measures will also bring wider social and economic benefits to improve quality of life in the community.

Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs, TUSA Co-ordinator:

“TUSA is delighted with this opportunity to engage with students and staff next year and find creative ways to lower our carbon footprint. Our university community is in a unique position to not only initiate significant local carbon reductions but through our diverse international student body we also hope to spread and encourage sustainable behaviours worldwide that will create a global legacy.”

The Climate Challenge Fund was set up by the Scottish Government to support community-led action to reduce carbon emissions.

Professor Jan Bebbington, Vice Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, said:

“People in communities across Scotland are beginning to understand that climate change is a serious problem and that tackling it is an economic necessity – the longer we leave things, the more it will cost us.”

Already the University of St Andrews is recognised for its committed to promoting sustainable development. The St Andrews Sustainability Institute (SASI) is working towards a sustainable future through teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students, research, and knowledge transfer as well as trying to be sustainable ourselves. Indeed the University of St Andrews won the first ever award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development in the Times Higher Awards. What’s more, in 2009 St Andrews was awarded a Green Gown Award in recognition of its Sustainable Development programme, which is now becoming a model for other courses across Europe.

Notes to News Editors

Dr Rehema White, member of the TUSA steering committee, is available for interviews on 07888399252


Issued by the University of St Andrews

Contact: Emma Shea, Communications Manager, on 01334 462 109 or email Emma.Shea@st-andrews.ac.uk

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