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Reading's 'major players' working together to become more sustainable – University of Reading

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Reading's 'major players' working together to become more sustainable

Release Date 16 January 2012

More than 100 delegates attended an initial conference to start the planning process for Reading's next Climate Change Strategy at the University of Reading on Thursday 12th January.

The event, hosted at the University's Palmer building on the Whiteknights campus, marks the beginning of a process that will see businesses, residents, and the public sector across Reading joining forces to forge a sustainable future for the town.

Delegates were challenged by speaker Dennis Moynihan, from the Institute for Sustainability, to 'make the magic happen' by bringing about a sustainable and prosperous future for people in Reading.

Sally Coble from the Environment Agency and chair of the Reading Climate Change Partnership, who organised the event, said: "Partnership working is the key to making the magic happen. We're going to need all the major players involved and Thursday's event was a great way to start this off."

Sir David Bell, the University of Reading's Vice-Chancellor, opened the event by welcoming leaders from Reading's businesses, community and public sector bodies.

"The University is delighted to host this consultation on climate change," he said.

"With our Centre for Food Security, Walker Institute for Climate Research and our Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments Centre, we are proud of our research and teaching excellence in this area and take seriously our role as a major player in the Reading Climate Change Partnership."

Peter Harper, Head of Research and Innovation at the Centre for Alternative Technology and co-author of Zero Carbon Britain, was the keynote speaker at the event, outlining a practical but radical option for Reading to play its part in helping the UK cut carbon emissions to zero by 2030.

Sally Coble, Chair of the Reading Climate Change Partnership and Ben Burfoot, Sustainability Manager at Reading Borough Council, presented an update on the progress so far on the current climate change strategy for Reading, which runs until 2013.

Delegates then split into workshops to put together initial proposals for the next strategy, which will need to see radical and positive change if Reading is to achieve a low-carbon future resilient to the effects of climate change.

Further information on the development of the climate change strategy will be hosted by the business community on Reading Green Business network website over the coming months. The draft strategy will be out for public consultation in the summer.

Notes to editors

The event, ‘Reading means business on Climate Change', took place on Thursday 12 January 2012, organised by Reading Climate Change Partnership and Reading Local Strategic Partnership and was hosted by the University of Reading.

The Reading Climate Change Partnership is a sub group of the Reading Local Strategic partnership which helps to develop and deliver the Sustainable Community Strategy and the Reading Climate Change Strategy.

The Reading Climate Change Partnership liaises with and participates in Climate Berkshire, the Climate Change Partnership for Berkshire, and the Reading Diamond for Investment and Growth. The partnership works across all sectors to deliver urgent appropriate action to reduce Reading's contribution to climate change and to adapt to climate change which occurs.

The current climate strategy for Reading, which runs until 2013, is available here:

The University of Reading

The University of Reading is one of the top research-intensive universities in the UK and is listed as among the best 1% of universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011).

The University is proud of its environmental contributions through research and management policies. It is internationally renowned for research into environmental sciences, including at the Walker Institute for Climate System Research and the Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments centre. The University manages beautiful green spaces, such as Whiteknights Campus, voted the top university green space in the UK at the 2011 Green Flag awards, and is committed to reducing its impact on the environment through its Clean & Green sustainability scheme. The University has already pledged to cut its carbon footprint and energy use by 35% by 2015.

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