A university has banned beef to help fight climate change

Posted at 8:01 AM, Aug 13, 2019

Beef burgers, burritos and other enduring student dishes are off the menu at a London university -- in order to help the fight against the climate crisis.

Goldsmiths University in London will be scrapping all beef products from its campus, the institution's new chief has announced, as it seeks to become carbon neutral by 2025.

The move takes effect from September, when the new academic year begins, and will affect all canteens, cafes and food outlets on the university's grounds.

Students will also be handed a 10p (12 cents) levy on bottled water and single use plastic cups in an attempt to discourage their use, with the money raised going towards a "green student initiative fund."

"Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words," the university's warden Frances Corner said in a statement.

"I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organizations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use."

Lamb, beef and dairy production accounts for the majority of greenhouse gases emitted by farms in Britain, with sheep and cattle directly responsible for around 58% of agricultural emissions in the UK in 2016, according to a report by the government's Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

Globally, beef is responsible for 41% of livestock greenhouse gas emissions, and livestock accounts for 14.5% of total global emissions

"The growing global call for organisations to take seriously their responsibilities for halting climate change is impossible to ignore," she added.

"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."

The university, based at a campus in New Cross, south-east London, has a student population of around 10,000.