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Queen’s University pledges multi-million pound sustainability action plan

Queen’s University Belfast has pledged a multi-million pound investment in a new sustainability action plan to help play its part in tackling the global climate emergency.

PVC and bus in front of Lanyon

As COP26 gets underway the University has committed to develop an action plan to reach a net carbon zero target as soon as possible, to encourage and enable sustainable research projects, to enhance our teaching and course provision in this area, as well as encourage all staff and students to become advocates for change to ensure a sustainable future for all.

Speaking about the announcement Queen’s University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Greer, said: “I am delighted today to be able to pledge this commitment to doing what we can as a University to play our part in tackling the global climate emergency. We will build upon our success to date in tackling climate change and, as a major civic university, develop a plan to enable us to continue on our journey towards reaching net-zero carbon emissions as soon as possible.

“Queen’s is a world leader in research and we know that by enabling our talent to look at solutions we can have a very real impact. We will work in collaboration with other Russell Group Universities, at pace, to deliver solutions for a more sustainable world. We can see here today with the hydrogen bus, developed in partnership with Wrights, how our research can and will play a huge part in creating a sustainable future for all.”

Professor Juliana Early, from the WTECH Research Centre at Queen’s, said: “As I head over to Glasgow to be on a panel as part of COP26, I feel great pride in the University’s commitment here today. Harnessing the talent within the University and its research strengths positions us to drive change through new discoveries and sustainable ways of living. For example, the collaboration between Queen’s and Wrights has enabled us to push forward new zero emission technologies in our public transport sector which are having a real impact on our local community. Northern Ireland is showing real leadership in this sector, and our achievements will be showcased at COP26 as an example of how to leverage strong collaborations to drive change.”

Neil Collins from Wrightbus said: “We are delighted to be a part of today’s announcement from Queen’s to launch a sustainability action plan. As a business, we now have both battery electric and hydrogen zero-emission buses in production and we're passionate about driving down CO2 emissions in public transport. We are showcasing our world-first hydrogen double decker bus at COP26 in Glasgow this week and will demonstrate the power of industry and research working in tandem to create powerful change."

Chloe Ferguson, the Students’ Union Campaigns and Engagement Officer, said: “We are delighted to hear that Queen’s is taking action to help play its part in tackling the climate emergency. We in the Students’ Union have, for years, urged the University to commit to investment and take action that meets the challenge of the climate crisis. I’m thrilled to see that the student voice has played, and will continue to play, a key part in Queen’s committing to help create a sustainable future for all. Our student body is passionate about securing the future of our planet and we look forward to seeing this action plan deliver real change in the months and years to come."

For more information on the University’s work on sustainability, visit:


Media inquiries to Claire Kelly, Communications Manager, Queen’s University Belfast