UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Universities must act now to tackle climate crisis – open letter

29 October 2019

Open letter to higher education sector leaders calling for universities to act swiftly and independently on the climate crisis signed by Director of UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources and Deputy Director of the UCL Energy Institute and several others.

Climate protest signs

In an open letter, published by The Higher Education, academics across the UK urged leaders of the higher education sector to enact radical change to tackle climate breakdown.

The letter states

Universities are the bastions of wisdom and knowledge that are urgently needed to combat the climate crisis. Now is the time to increase our efforts."

Academics urged that universities act now, ahead of government and industry who are failing to cut emissions fast enough. They ask that universities become ‘action-oriented institutions’, stating ‘we need to be leaders’.

The letter has been signed by members of the UCL Energy Institute, Institute for Sustainable Resources and Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering:

UCL Energy Institute 
Institute for Sustainable Resources
Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering

Sustainability at UCL

UCL has recently launched an ambitious new Sustainability Strategy. As London’s Global University with a diverse community, UCL has an opportunity to inspire sustainability action on an international scale, and this strategy aims to do so.

The strategy set out six headline commitments for the university, namely:

1.    Every student will have the opportunity to study and be involved in sustainability 
2.    We will increase our sustainability research, with increased focus on the Sustainable Development Goals 
3.    Our buildings will be net zero carbon, and by 2030 our institution will be net zero carbon 
4.    Be a single-use-plastic free campus 
5.    Reduce waste per person by 20% 
6.    Create 10,000m2 of more biodiverse green space on campus 

Further reading