The University is putting its research and education leadership in climate change at the heart of its own strategy

University of Exeter launches Green Futures campaign in critical year for climate action

The University of Exeter has launched a ‘Green Futures’ campaign and website to drive action on the environment and climate emergency ahead of the G7 in Cornwall and COP26 in Glasgow this year.

According to a recent Reuters list, the University of Exeter has the UK’s five most influential climate scientists - all in the top 21 in the world. For more than twenty years the University has been leading the way in interdisciplinary research to better understand and tackle environment and climate change. By mobilising expertise in research and education, the University is seeking to accelerate global action in partnership with governments, businesses and communities.

The Green Futures campaign sets out how the University of Exeter is collaborating with business, influencing national and international policy, and working with people and communities who are being affected by environment and climate change to co-create solutions. The University has a team of over 500 researchers and professionals working across climate change and the environment and they include some of the world’s leading academics who are committed to urgent action.

The expertise underpins research across a wide range of areas including Biodiversity, Energy, Environmental Intelligence, Marine and Positive Tipping Points through a range of institutes and centres including the Global Systems Institute, Environment and Sustainability Institute and Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute. The Exeter team is also providing the technical lead for the Government’s 3rd UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, and the Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence in partnership with the UK Met Office positions the city of Exeter as a global hub for climate research to develop solutions to the major challenges ahead including energy and food security.

The University of Exeter, is working in partnership to ensure the South West is at the forefront of environmental sustainability in the UK and beyond. The UK Government’s Science and Innovation Audit (2017) identified that the region has unparalleled, extensive, and internationally excellent science capability and assets within sustainability and environmental science. There are four times as many environmental scientists in Devon than the rest of the UK and of the 16 most cited climate scientists in the world, 8 are in the UK and 4 of these are at Exeter.

Almost one-third of the UK’s major environmental research organisations are based in the South West and the stunning natural surroundings and resources provide ample inspiration for sustainable solutions. Since 2010, the University of Exeter along with partners have directly supported over 1,000 businesses in environmental science and sustainability related sectors.

The University is putting its research and education leadership in climate change at the heart of its own strategy. The University has created an innovative plan to cut emissions and improve the environment on its campuses and beyond; reducing emissions by 30% by 2025 (relative to 2018/19) – then 100% of scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2050 at the latest. The plan – which earned Exeter the sustainability prize in the 2020 Guardian University Awards – relies on evidence, transparency and partnerships.

Through education and courses, the University is also training the next generation and inspiring thousands of students to become the leaders of tomorrow that can address the challenges ahead. The University is committed to building a sustainable, green future in the next decade through partnerships, skills and knowledge exchange.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter, said: “As a university, and as a community, we are working together to tip the scales towards positive change. We will continue to pioneer new solutions across society to ensure a safe and stable environment and climate for future generations. And we stand ready to help others to do the same.”

Date: 18 May 2021