Cambridge University targets net zero carbon goal by 2048

It is also targeting a 75% fall in carbon emissions by 2030

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The University of Cambridge has committed to reducing its energy-related carbon emissions to net zero by 2048.

It has adopted a science based target for carbon reduction, becoming the first university in the world to do so and is also aiming for a 75% decrease in emissions by 2030 based on 2015 levels.

Science based targets are developed using models that calculate the level of carbon reduction a particular organisation needs to achieve in order to do its fair share in reducing global emissions and contribute towards the goals set in the Paris climate agreement.

Work that is currently underway to reach the university’s commitments include looking at options to significantly reduce the amount of gas it uses for space and water heating, assessing the feasibility of developing a solar project and sourcing all its electricity from zero carbon sources.

It is also looking into implementing a programme of energy efficiency improvements across the university estate and providing its departments with better data on their energy use and carbon emissions so staff and students are informed to take action.

Professor Ian Leslie, Senior Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor with special responsibility for Environmental Sustainability said: “Scientists have made it clear that we need to take urgent action to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change.

“As a world-leading university, we need to not only take responsibility for our own carbon emissions but also to demonstrate to others what is achievable. By setting an ambitious target for carbon reduction and aiming to reach it a decade early, we hope to provide opportunities for others to learn form our approach, including where we are successful and areas that are found to be challenging.”