University of Winchester Vice-Chancellor one of 20 top scientists signing climate change warning letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson

16 Feb 2021

University of Winchester Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL is a signatory to an open letter to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, asking for much stronger leadership in the face of catastrophic climate change and growing ecological collapse.

The letter from Scientists Warning Europe (SWE) endorses the letter from former Nasa scientist, James Hansen, which also called on Mr Johnson to step up and lead the world in solving the climate crisis.

SWE calls for Mr Johnson to table a much earlier net zero target of 2030 rather than 2050, highlighting the substantial support for such a target by the many UK local councils in their declarations of Climate Emergency.

Professor Carter is clear in her support of Scientists Warning Europe: "The Prime Minister has a unique opportunity to compel COP26 to adopt net zero by 2030. By throwing down the gauntlet and accelerating a global response in the face of the climate and biodiversity crisis, this Government's pledge to 'build back better' is a platform for exercising moral leadership on this most pressing of issues for all future generations."

As the University for sustainability and social justice, Winchester is committed to contributing to a sustainable future and making a positive environmental impact. It has joined forces with the government to tackle carbon emissions by signing the Emissions Reduction Pledge and in June 2019 pledged to eliminate all unnecessary single-use plastic across offices and teaching spaces, catering and sporting facilities and halls of residence as part of a mission to help tackle the climate emergency. The University also holds the National Union of Students' (NUS) Responsible Futures accreditation for its commitment to embedding sustainability and social responsibility in its teaching and other activities.

The SWE letter is supported by 20 eminent scientists and academics including the government's former science adviser Sir David King; leading Dutch Climate Scientist Pier Vellinga, who was one of the architects of the UNFCCC, involved in the inception of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as vice chairman in its first bureau, and Bill Ripple - lead author of the Scientists Warning to Humanity a Second Notice in 2017 and the Scientists Warning of a Climate Emergency 2019. Two top scientists from Italy, Britain's co-host for the 26th United Nations' Climate Change Conference (COP26), also endorse SWE's letter.

Ed Gemmell, Managing Director, Scientists Warning Europe said: "We know from the scientific community that we need the earliest target possible for the UK and the world to get to net zero to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Many feel this should be 2030. Our current politicians are the last ones with the chance to take the necessary actions required by the British public, 81 per cent of whom believe there is a real Climate Emergency according to the UNDP. We believe Boris Johnson has the courage to bring forward the net zero target and then initiate the emergency action needed to reach it."

Read the SWE letter here:


Press Office  |  +44 (0)1962 827678  |  |

Back to media centre