November 1, 2021, by sustainablenottingham
COP26: how we can all take action to tackle climate change
COP26 has begun. Countries have come together to commit to new carbon reduction targets to secure global net zero by 2050 and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. To do this, global carbon emissions need to reduce by 50% by 2030.
The message of the conference is clear: We must act now, and act together.
This year the University of Nottingham launched a new sustainability campaign – go! This aims to demonstrate how we are tackling climate change, whilst empowering everyone to step up, take action and that your sustainable choices matter.
We’re committed to our university being truly sustainable. We want to slash our carbon emissions by 63% by 2030, and we need everyone to join us in getting there.
Even the smallest actions add up to big impacts. Whether that be taking responsibility to reduce energy, or choosing to travel to the university in a more sustainable way.
Every change we make takes us closer to our goal.
COP26 is a great opportunity to start taking part in climate action. Over the next two weeks there are events and activities for our staff and students to get involved in.
But no matter where you live, work or study, there are a few things everyone can do:
Halve your environmental footprint
What does a 50% or even 63% reduction in your emissions look like? If you’ve never calculated your carbon footprint you may be surprised which areas of your life have the biggest environmental impact. And there might be some easy but significant things you can do to make a change and make a difference today. Calculate your footprint.
But if you want a shortcut, this is what you need to focus your efforts on:
- Flying less
- Driving less
- Buying less
- Eating less meat
- Using less energy
Read our Sustainable Living Guide
We have a handy guide with ideas to help you take action to live more sustainably. It covers elements such as finance, waste, campaigning, travel and energy.
- UoN staff and students are invited to an event on 11 November to find out how to travel more sustainably.
Get rewarded on Green Rewards
Last week, all nine Nottinghamshire councils followed the lead of the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University to offer a Green Rewards platform for residents. This means Nottinghamshire is the first county in the UK to see all its major local authority and education partners collaborate on a climate change reduction project in this way.
- Log the positive changes you make on UoN Green Rewards and you could earn prizes and donations to charity. Throughout November you can also find out more about COP26 and make your own sustainable pledge. Sign up now.
Talk about it
The impact of our actions can easily be amplified simply by talking about them. Tell others what you are doing, why and motivate them to join you. People are more likely to change their behaviour if they know someone else that has done the same. Eventually this movement grows until our collective actions indicate to government that we want systematic change.
- If you’re a member of staff, join our online cutting carbon workshop on 9 November, hear how the university plans to reduce emissions and share your thoughts with us. A sustainable travel roadshow is also touring university faculties. We want to hear your views on how we can move to more climate-conscious travel. Keep an eye out for an invitation in your inbox. There will also be a travel survey launching next week.
- Students can get involved in similar events later in the month as part of go! Switch Off, our campaign to encourage everyone to save energy. We’re currently recruiting residents from catered halls to become go! Switch Off Champions. Find out more.
- We’re also holding a referral competition on Green Rewards throughout November. Refer your friends and colleagues to be entered into a prize draw.
Join the COP26 Global Day for Climate Action
Campaigning, petitioning and engaging in politics are some of the most powerful actions we can take. It’s suggested that only 3.5% of a population needs to take part in a protest movement to effect change. In the UK that equates to slightly less than the number of current university students. Change can happen fast, just look at the rise of Greta Thunberg.
- Nottingham is joining cities across the world in taking to the streets for climate justice. Do something meaningful on Saturday 6 November and march for climate action.
Visit our webpages for more ways to get involved.
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