Academic to speak at international climate crisis webinar ahead of COP26

Wed 20 October, 2021
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A University of Bedfordshire lecturer has been invited to speak at a key international webinar on the climate crisis ahead of the launch of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow later this month.

Dr Mohammad Alramahi, Principle Lecturer in Law at Bedfordshire’s Business School, is the Rotary Environmental District Officer for Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire and will speak at a UN-associated webinar titled Climate Crisis: Faith in the Environment on 23rd October.

The webinar is a joint event organised by the Luton branch of the United Nations Association, Luton Council of Faiths and Grassroots – the Luton hub for the Near Neighbours programme – and will focus on various faiths’ views on respecting, preserving and protecting nature and the environment.

Dr Alramahi, whose presentation will focus on ‘Reflections on Nature and the Environment from Luton’s Diverse Faith Communities’, hopes people will attend the event to explore how communities and the University’s staff and students can make a difference at a local level. He commented:

“Here at the University of Bedfordshire we can see the effects of climate change in communities we care about, and we have not waited to take action. We are tackling the problem by coming up with positive projects and local workshops as well as using our connections to impact policy change and plan for the future.

“There is a growing body of research which stresses the importance of faith in understanding and addressing climate change and this event will look at how our diverse faiths can guide us to protect, preserve and promote a healthy environment for all. I will contribute to addressing the relationship between Luton’s diverse faith communities and climate change – it’s going to be a really interesting and lively discussion – Lutonians think globally and act locally!”

It is hoped the webinar will promote awareness of the climate crisis and build momentum towards COP26, which is being hosted by the UK in Glasgow from 31st October – 12th November.

Ahead of COP26, Universities UK has also launched a set of sector-wide policy positions on the climate emergency, with a lead commitment to support government aims to reduce carbon emissions by 78% by 2035, and achieve net zero by 2050.

Universities worldwide have a role to play in ensuring that the globe’s average surface temperature remains under 1.5 degrees centigrade, and the University of Bedfordshire is committed to playing its part in this aim. In 2015, Bedfordshire became the second university in the country to decide not to invest in fossil fuels, while sustainability has been embedded into the student curriculum. It currently offers a number of courses with a key focus on green energy and sustainability in the areas of Construction, Building Services and Management.

Since 2005, the University has made huge reductions in its carbon emissions by altering the way in which it runs its estate, and continues to work towards its Target Zero goals that were set in early 2020. In 2021, the University earned Platinum certification by EcoCampus for the second year running, while a generous Cycle To Work scheme continues to operate.

Students who are passionate about climate change and sustainability can also get involved in the University’s Sustainability Forum and join Beds SU’s Environmental Society.

On the subject of universities fighting the climate crisis Professor Judith Petts CBE, Chair of the Universities UK Climate Task and Finish Group, has commented:

“The commitments universities are making are far more than simply touting our eco-credentials. But we need government to support sustainable funding for the sector rather than further cuts, and specifically we hope that they will recognise the opportunities of the COP26 scholarships.

“With stable funding UK universities will continue to pioneer approaches and provide the world with the science, skills, and talent needed to safeguard the future of the planet.”

Dr Alramahi’s presentation is part of Climate Crisis: Faith in the Environment, which takes place from 4-6pm on Saturday 23 October. The event is free – click the button below to be taken to the event’s Eventbrite page.

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