universities have alerted us to the scale of the climate crisis – now they must lead in showing society how to solve it
Britain is now committed to net zero emissions by 2050, reflecting the momentum of similar targets in France and the rest of the EU.
But there is still a long way to go.
So far, the government\'s goal still greatly underestimated the urgency of the climate crisis.
In terms of concrete action, the world is still a long way from us.
According to the current policy plan, science shows that we are moving towards a world where temperatures will rise 2100 to four degrees.
As a source of many studies that remind us of the real scale of the crisis we face, universities should take the lead in showing society how to act.
If they don\'t, how can they justify taxpayer funding for the study in the first place?
Such leaders are, first of all, United to set a zero-carbon goal and take climate collapse seriously.
The United Nations recently released an important report on the catastrophic effects of raising global temperatures to more than 1.
University academics play an important role in it.
However, according to the report, we still have a 50% chance to raise the temperature above this dangerous level by 2050 to achieve the goal of net zero.
Even this risk percentage is based on this date, and the world\'s carbon will be zero.
In order to solve the unfair economic problems caused by the climate collapse, countries that have long benefited from the development of fossil fuel resources in poor countries need to go to carbon dioxide faster than 2050.
As a privileged institution in the face of colonial bias pressures, universities in these countries should support the zero-carbon target for 2035.
Such goals respect both the seriousness of their own scientific discoveries and allow those who suffer from oil geopolitics to go low carbon at a slower pace.
In fact, some people have set goals for 2035 or earlier, but that doesn\'t mean their work has been done.
Universities, like governments, feel guilty about creative carbon accounting, which reduces the real value of seemingly impressive goals.
When reporting only emissions from fuel burned on site and from electricity and heat utility bills, most people describe their full emission burden without end-of-life.
Universities must create a culture of honest accounting by including high carbon costs in areas such as travel and transportation (
Usually accounts for more than a quarter of university emissions)
And food, and then start to reduce them.
This means spending money directly on reducing emissions and avoiding the use of popular carbon offsets, which push emissions reductions to poorer, lower levels
Some universities have claimed to be \"carbon neutral\" or close to carbon neutral, but in reality their heavy use of the offset suggests that green brands take precedence over specific actions.
Evidence from scholars suggests that offsetting has almost never really reduced emissions, and in some cases may be worse than doing nothing.
Therefore, universities must concentrate on achieving real zero, not net zero.
Unlike industries such as steel, cement and aviation that are difficult to go low carbon, the vast majority of university emissions are relatively easy to cut.
Turn to real renewable energy and implement energy systematically
Energy-saving measures such as heat pump and heat preservation can greatly reduce energy consumption.
Frequent air travel for meetings and field trips is clearly inconsistent with de-CO2, there is no excuse for universities not to replace travel with remote participation wherever possible, and support is slow and pollution is reduced if necessary.
Removing beef and lamb from the University menu is also an important and urgent step.
As the center of scientific innovation, universities must also redouble their efforts to find new ways to remove carbon dioxide, and more importantly, combine these efforts with local communities that are often closely related to them.
In the process of achieving zero emissions, creating new economies and lifestyles is essential, projects like this place --
Action networks based on action networks have begun to demonstrate how local cooperation can build an inclusive and coherent path away from fossil fuels.
In order to ensure broad acceptance of the inevitable and difficult changes of the future, universities must actively participate and listen to the opinions of these communities, as well as employees and students at all levels.
Universities are not only innovators, but also educators, and play a vital role in ensuring that students and staff leave college and that they are unlikely to exacerbate the climate crisis, no matter what they learn or teach, there will be no more.
Finally, the university must be separated from all fossil fuels completely and without conditions.
While employees generally support divestment, there are billions of pounds in British and American universities alone that are still investing in the industry.
Continued support for fossil fuel companies is not compatible with the climate emergencies revealed by the academic institute-it is better for universities to question whether keeping research links with these companies or student placements are the same.
I am proud to be part of a network of institutions with a long history, using research to create a better world.
But as the world faces the most serious existential threat, there is an urgent need for these institutions to combine language with action.
Nothing will undermine the integrity of their work.
Without a college job, we would not be awakened by a climate emergency.
Even if they ignore the teachings of their research, how can we expect others to take action?
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This article was re-published from the conversation based on the creative sharing authorization.
Read the original text. Calum Harvey-
Scholes does not work, consult, own shares or obtain funds for any company or organization that has benefited from this article, and does not disclose any relevant links other than academic appointments.