University teams up with other institutions to unite in climate fight

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A landmark initiative has been launched to bring together Scottish universities to address the climate emergency.

Scotland Beyond Net Zero (SBNZ), founded jointly by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, aims to help the country meet – and go beyond – its ambition of achieving net zero by 2045.

The collaboration will catalyse action and empower government, policymakers, organisations and industry, to make informed change to help Scotland reach its climate targets.

The new venture will combine world-changing research, innovation and expertise in climate science and sustainability. It will address key challenges linked with the climate emergency, including clean energy, storage, decarbonisation, green transport, community empowerment and climate justice.

While initially launched by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, it will bring together world-class expertise from institutions across Scotland.

The initiative was launched at an event hosted by Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition Màiri McAllan MSP on 23 January at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

Professor Sir Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh and Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow launching Scotland Beyond Net Zero at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh

Building on the legacy of COP26, which was held in Glasgow in 2021, the new initiative seeks to provide policymakers and government with cutting-edge data, insights and expertise that will enable evidence-based policy recommendations. The venture will also facilitate collaborations for industry partners to unlock innovations that bring benefits to people and the planet.

By supporting and connecting existing networks and initiatives, and stimulating new activities and endeavours, SBNZ aims to become a leading global example of partnerships to effect positive action on climate change.

Professor Sir Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Climate change is arguably the greatest global challenge of our time.  We need coordinated action to harness our combined strengths. To support Scotland’s transition to net zero, it is vital that we go further and faster together. That’s what SBNZ aims to do.”