COP26: University of Northampton hosts week of events to help tackle climate change

Watch a report by Stuart Leithes.

Inspired by the Cop 26 conference being held this week, the University of Northampton is hosting its own climate event - albeit on a slightly smaller scale than the one in Glasgow.

The University is hosting a 'COP26 companion programme' of events this week, which will see students, university staff and industry discuss climate change.

The five-day event, which started yesterday, will have a different theme each day: transport and mobility; resource management, specifically water and waste at home; nature-based solutions to environmental issues; energy and emissions and combating climate change using circular economy solutions.

“It’s quite easy to disconnect from climate change, especially here in the UK, in the Midlands, because everything you see via the media is doom and gloom and major disasters happening elsewhere in the world", Danielle said.

“Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed by it all and think there’s nothing we can do about it, or that it’s not affecting us here. But, actually, climate change is affected by everything everybody is doing around the world, so we can play our own part and be a bit more sustainable and more positive.

“We want students to go away knowing that they can do something to help. You don’t have to do something huge to make a difference. It could just be thinking about the way that you shop, the food that you eat, the way you travel. And if we can make small changes to our behaviours in these areas, we will have made a meaningful difference.”

Organisations who are at the week-long event include environmental groups Climate Action West Northamptonshire (CAWN) and Northampton Litter Wombles; Anglian Water; construction firm Travis Perkins; power generation business Drax; The Woodland Trust; the RSPB and analytical and life sciences instrumentation company, Horiba.

The University also says they have been taking their own steps to tackle climate change. In Februrary it reaffirmed its commitment by pledging to becoming net-zero carbon by 2030.

Measures that the university are looking at include, utilisation of the campus biomass boiler, which is a low-carbon renewable energy source; taking advantage of green business tariffs, such as green gas; investigating renewable energy generation via photovoltaic solar energy panels and turbines; utilising data collected from energy management software and pursue ways to further reduce the energy use of buildings.The idea of the event was thought up by senior lecturer in environmental sciences, Dr Janet Jackson.