The weekly #goodnewssiren round-up #72

November 05, 2021

From COP26 successes to the UK’s first verified Carbon Neutral university, here’s what is making us smile in the world of sustainability at Siren this week...


This week saw the kick off of the monumental climate event, COP26. Here are some positive outcomes so far... 


Money: The former Bank of England governor Mark Carney has announced he is looking to move trillions of dollars of private capital towards supporting clean technology.

Trees: More than 100 countries promised to reverse deforestation by 2030. The pledge includes almost £14bn ($19.2bn) of public and private funds.

Methane: There's a pact to cut emissions of the world's second-worst warming gas, methane, by 30% by 2030.

Clean energy: South Africa will get £6bn ($8.5 billion) to ditch coal, in a deal with France, Germany, the UK, the US and the EU.

India: Prime Minister Modi has set aggressive targets for low-carbon power by 2030.

UK rules: Most big UK firms and financial institutions will be asked to show how they intend to hit climate change targets. Plans will be submitted to an expert panel to ensure they are not just greenwashing.



Nadhim Zahawi puts climate change at the heart of education


The UK’s Education Secretary will announce a new set of measures to deliver world-leading climate change education through a model science curriculum by 2023.

In his speech in Glasgow, Nadhim Zahawi will empower young people to take action on the environment with his agenda to teach all about the importance of conserving and protecting our planet.

Children and young people will also be able to undertake a new Climate Award in recognition for their work to improve their environment, with a prestigious national awards ceremony held every year.



UK launches first food and farming sustainability school


COP26 is placing a large focus on youth and public empowerment, which is why the first School of Sustainable Food and Farming has launched in the UK with the aim to encourage new sustainable farming methods to help British agriculture achieve its net-zero goal.

Based in Newport, its courses will seek to introduce regenerative methods of farming - for livestock, soil health and biodiversity - to help produce the nation’s food in an even more sustainable and climate-friendly way. It has developed a unique collaboration with supermarket Morrisons, foodservice outlet McDonald’s UK, and the National Farmers Union.

In the UK, agricultural production is currently responsible for 10 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, so the school will play a huge part in the UK’s new Net Zero Strategy.


LSE becomes the first Carbon Neutral verified university in the UK


In other Net-Zero education news, the London School of Economics has this week become the first Carbon Neutral verified UK university. The independent verification recognises LSE as carbon neutral for the academic year 2020/21, for all its measured emissions.

LSE has announced a direct emissions reduction of 44 per cent since 2005, despite an increase in campus size and student numbers. The university has used energy procured from 100 per cent renewable sources (e.g., solar and wind) since 2009 and has retrofitted its buildings to optimise energy use.

The school was verified by global certification organisation BSI, against the internationally recognised standard for carbon neutrality, PAS 2060.