Get keen on green

February 16, 2012

An open letter to David Willetts, universities and science minister

This week, across the country, thousands of students and staff have taken part in People & Planet's Go Green Week, focusing on climate change. The government must listen.

Many universities are missing their carbon reduction targets - sector-wide emissions rose 4 per cent over five years. To enable the transition of universities to a low-carbon economy, the universities and science minister must increase support and resources.

We join thousands of students who this week demand:

• An increase in investment in carbon reduction and renewable energy for the sector

• That every UK graduate be prepared with the skills and knowledge for a green economy

• A new commission involving key stakeholders in developing the pathway to a sustainable higher education sector.

Universities are the architects of the future. They must lead the way to a low-carbon economy. It's time for the government to act.

Louise Hazan, co-director, People & Planet

Liam Burns, president, National Union of Students

Caroline Lucas, MP

John McDonnell, MP

Professor Daniella Tilbury, director of sustainability, University of Gloucestershire

Josh Clare, president, Newman University College Student Union

Martin Kirk, head of campaigns, Oxfam

Tom Burke, founding director, E3G

Polly Higgins, international environment lawyer, campaigner and author

Robin Parker, president, National Union of Students Scotland

Dr Neil Jennings, national coordinator, Student Switch Off

Stuart Maddy, environmental officer, Newman University College

Arianna Tassinari, co-president welfare and education, SOAS Students' Union

Alex Peters-Day, general secretary, LSE Students' Union

Daniel Cooper, president, Royal Holloway Students' Union

Edd Bauer, VP education, University of Birmingham Guild of Students

Ben Brangwyn, co-founder, Transition Network

Jake Leeper and Hannah Smith, directors, UK Youth Climate Coalition

Pete Davis, director, Part Time Carnivore

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