Welsh government net zero funding “very welcome”, say stakeholders

Universities Wales said that the new funding has “come at a crucial time”.

Swansea University’s VP international Judith Lamie told The PIE News the institution was “delighted” by the news, as it is “committed to reducing our impact on the environment”.

“This additional support from the Welsh government will ensure we continue to share best practices across our operations, research, and curriculum,” said Lamie.

According to the Welsh government, education providers are to use the funding on “innovative plans to improve their carbon footprints”, including new training materials to incorporate learning about net zero practices into their training across courses.

As part of the funding, £10m will also be provided for future research activity “aligned to Welsh government priorities” at colleges and universities across the country.

“The additional support for research activity will have a positive and tangible impact,” said Amanda Wilkinson, Universities Wales’ director.

“It is vital that Wales is at the forefront of research and innovation including for the social, health and economic benefits that this activity delivers,” Wilkinson added.

“Our colleges and universities have an important role within the national effort to reach net zero, as major employers across Wales and seats of learning for workers who will apply their learning in high-skilled professions,” said Jeremy Miles, minister for education and Welsh language.

“Our universities have made a range of commitments to support net zero including setting targets for emissions reductions”

The money will also be used to improve infrastructure across colleges and universities, including more LED lighting and more electric car charging points on campuses.

Lamie remarked that the funding will help universities continue their fight against climate change, as institutions have already committed to substantial changes.

“Carbon efficiencies [at Swansea] have been achieved through educational activities such as our Student Sustainability Award and the Student Switch Off program,” Lamie explained.

“Our universities have made a range of commitments to support net zero including setting targets for emissions reductions and ensuring these targets are visible on their websites,” Wilkinson continued.

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