Beef burgers banned by university to ‘help save planet’

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A London university is banning beef and charging a tax on plastics when students return in September.

Goldsmith’s University said it will remove beef from its shelves and charge a 10p levy on single-use water bottles and plastic cups as part of efforts to become carbon neutral by 2025.

The college’s new Warden, Professor Frances Corner, said staff and students ‘care passionately about the future of our environment’ and that ‘declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words’.

The move has been backed by Goldsmiths Students’ Union who said the need to eradicate the university’s ‘huge carbon footprint’ is urgent.

There are also plans to install more solar panels across the college’s New Cross campus in south-east London and switch to a 100% clean energy supplier as soon as possible.

Officials said Goldsmiths will also continue to invest in its allotment, plant more trees and review how all students can access modules which cover climate change.

Professor Corner said: ‘The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore.

‘Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words. I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organisations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use.’

Figures show that Goldsmiths emits around 3.7kg of carbon emissions each year.

Their announcement follows a report from the UN which said cutting back on red meat and eating more veg could help save the planet.

Rosie Rogers, climate emergency campaigner for Greenpeace UK, described the ban as ‘encouraging’ and called on other universities to follow suit.

She said: ‘From energy use, to food sales and plastic pollution – all universities and organisations with campus sites can make changes across their facilities that are better for our planet.’We call on others to urgently follow suit, and to include cutting all ties from fossil fuel funding in their climate emergency response.’

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