In a bid to tackle climate change, London university Goldsmiths has banned the sale of beef on campus as it attempts to become carbon neutral by 2025.
As reported by Sky News, the university, which specialises in the arts, design and humanities courses, will stop selling beef from next month and students will have to pay a 10p levy on bottles of water and single-use plastic cups.
Goldsmiths is also looking to install solar panels at its New Cross campus and switch to a 100% clean energy supplier to try to lower its “huge” carbon footprint. Its carbon emissions are currently around 3.7m kg a year.
“Our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible,” said Goldsmiths’ warden, professor Frances Corner.
“Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words. We face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organisations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use,” Corner added.
While its attempt to tackle climate change should be applauded, the National Farmers Union (NFU) described the beef ban at Goldsmiths as “overly simplistic”.
“Tackling climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, but singling out one food product is clearly an overly simplistic approach,” NFU vice president Stuart Roberts told Sky News.
“Our standards of beef production in the UK are among the most efficient in the world, with British livestock grazing in extensive, grass-based systems, meaning a greenhouse gas footprint 2.5 times smaller than the global average.
“Anyone wanting to play their part in helping our planet amid the current climate change challenge we’re facing should buy British, locally produced beef reared to some of the highest and environmentally sustainable standards in the world,” he added.