Unsurprisingly, the whole climate emergency debate is now working its way through Higher Education circles, here in the UK and internationally.

In July, a new initiative was launched involving 25 different networks involved in Higher Education, with a view to getting as many people as possible to sign up to a series of commitments before the Secretary General’s Climate Summit on September 23rd.

The three-point plan includes a commitment to go carbon neutral by 2030, if possible, or 2050 at the very latest; to mobilise more resources for proper action-oriented climate change research and skills creation; and ensuring that sustainability is properly embedded across the curriculum, campus and community outreach programmes. Familiar territory, but this now needs to be addressed with a sense of the emergency uppermost in our minds.

Here in the UK, 18 universities have signed up to a separate Climate Emergency Declaration, which is being coordinated by the EAUC (The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education). They’re developing a new ‘Climate Emergency Framework’, coordinating all the different UK efforts as part and parcel of the bigger international initiative.

All of which matters a great deal to myself, as Chancellor of Keele University. We’re doing pretty well, and have won a lot of awards for the various initiatives that we’re involved in. Our Deputy Vice-Chancellor, together with Professor Zoe Robinson, Director of Education for Sustainability at Keele, have prepared a blog on everything that’s going on at Keele.

But we know there’s still a huge amount to be done here, with a lot more pressure coming our way as a consequence of Extinction Rebellion, the School Strikes, as well as a growing sense of awareness on the part of more and more academics, that we have to raise our game in completely different ways.