Goldsmiths University bans beef burgers to help tackle climate change crisis

The National Farmers’ Union said Goldsmiths decision to ban beef was an “overly simplistic” response to climate change.

A university has stopped selling beef on campus as part of its bid to tackle climate change.

Goldsmiths, University of London, is removing all beef products from sale from next month as it attempts to become carbon neutral by 2025.

Students will also have to pay a 10p levy on bottles of water and single-use plastic cups when the academic year starts to discourage use of the products.

There are also plans at Goldsmiths to install more solar panels on the college’s New Cross campus in south east London, and to switch to a 100% clean energy supplier as soon as possible.

Professor Frances Corner, the college’s new warden, said staff and students “care passionately about the future of our environment” and that “declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words”.

But the National Farmers Union (NFU) has been critical, saying it is “overly simplistic” and saying it represented a lack of understanding of the differences between British beef, and beef produced elsewhere.

Prof Corner said: “The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore.

“Though I have only just arrived at Goldsmiths, it is immediately obvious that our staff and students care passionately about the future of our environment and that they are determined to help deliver the step change we need to cut our carbon footprint drastically and as quickly as possible.

“Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words. I truly believe 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.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Professor Frances Corner, OBE, Head of London College of Fashion, UAL, speaks at the launch of the Fashion District, which is a new hub for fashion innovation that aims to return world-leading fashion manufacturing and design to the east end, held at Christopher RaeburnÕs studio in London.
Image:Professor Frances Corner said move would help with the university’s carbon neutral attempts

Goldsmiths’ students’ union has backed the ban, with the president Joe Leam saying the university has a “huge carbon footprint”.

NFU vice president Stuart Roberts said their position was to encourage public bodies to back British farming.


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