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In November 2021, Glasgow hosted the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, also referred to as Conference of the Parties, or COP26. Delegates from around the world gathered in Glasgow to accelerate action on climate change and the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement aims to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees and pursue efforts to lower this even further to 1.5 degrees.

Each person must play their part in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, and here at the University of Chester we are working to reach net zero emissions by 2030. However, improving our facilities and operations is not the only way we can achieve this. We can all contribute to tackling the climate emergency and we regularly work with students and staff to host activities to increase knowledge and understanding of the climate crisis, and what we can do about it. 

In September 2021, we began the rollout of Carbon Literacy Training, which is open to all students and staff. Carbon Literacy Training covers the science behind climate change, the urgency of taking action and the positive steps we can all take to make a difference. Those who have completed the training can also go on to become Carbon Literacy Trainers, developing skills in leadership, facilitation and communication, as well as delivering training to our wider community.

Reduce waste and be more self-sufficient.   

At our Exton Park site, the Sustainability Shop sells a variety of refillable items such as dried goods (pasta, rice, spices) and toiletries, such as detergent and soap. The community fridge is stocked with tasty meals prepared by the catering team and there is a clothes swap area where students can pick up a preloved item of clothing by swapping it with something of their own!

Situated a short walk from Exton Park, the allotment is a great place to meet new people, learn how to grow your own food and enjoy spending some time outdoors. Last summer we enjoyed strawberries, tomatoes, blackberries and lettuces. We host weekly allotment sessions and always need plenty of help; at the moment, we are clearing the beds so that we can grow more food this spring and summer.

Go Green for climate change.            

We are currently working with the Students’ Union to organise Go Green Fortnight, which will be a collection of events and activities running from: Monday 21st February to Friday 4th March 2022, aimed to inspire action on climate change, which will build on the outcomes of COP26. Go Green Fortnight follows on from our Collaborate for Change week in October 2021, which aimed to raise awareness and understanding of COP26. We run similar weeks each year and encourage students to get involved by attending events or even hosting their own.

When it comes to sustainability at the University of Chester, we want students and staff to understand that it’s more than just the physical environment, it’s also about education, health and wellbeing, and social justice. All these areas link together, and they are all greatly impacted by climate change.  

Find out what you can do to tackle climate change by getting involved in Go Green Fortnight  which runs from  Monday 21st February to Friday 4th March 2022, or register for carbon literacy training to see how you can reduce your carbon footprint and maybe even develop your leadership and communication skills. If you are a budding gardener or would like to volunteer locally to help the environment take a look at Welly Wednesday .

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