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#VotePlanet: The University puts environment at centre of General Election

Vote planet logo, white letterign to green banner with backgroud colour photograph of forest

The #VotePlanet campaign launched on Thursday 21 November, and explores one environmental issue each day as a countdown to polling day. Over the duration of the campaign, everything from flooding and pollution to food waste and recycling will be covered, backed by cutting-edge research and expert voices from the University and key partners.

We encourage colleagues and students to share examples of how their research, teaching or personal actions are helping to benefit the environment using the hashtag #VotePlanet.

While public concern for the environment has increased significantly in recent years, the campaign aims to inform voters how these issues will affect our day-to-day lives and the planet as a whole, to help them navigate the array of manifestos and pledges put forward by political parties.

Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice Chancellor, said:

“The environment has rightly shot up the public’s list of priorities as more people are taking heed of the warnings from scientists.

“At Reading, we have experts leading the way in understanding the dangers posed by climate change and other threats to our environment. Our campaign is sharing the latest environmental science with voters to empower them ahead of the General Election, which could prove to be a critical date in the fight against these threats.”

The 2019 General Election has been described by some as a ‘climate election’. While Brexit continues to dominate the headlines, the environment has emerged in polls as one of the biggest issues concerning voters, particularly young people.

Boosted by media coverage of the Extinction Rebellion protests and warnings of dire consequences from experts, public feeling around climate change and associated issues like extreme weather and pollution has never been stronger.

Voters ranked the environment above the economy, education and immigration in a recent Ipsos Mori survey on public priorities, while You Gov lists it as the second biggest concern after Brexit for young people.

As political parties respond with environmental policies, including protecting habitats and reducing the UK’s carbon emissions, the #VotePlanet campaign will help inform voters by bringing them the latest environmental science.

It will also show where Reading is taking action as an institution to reduce its carbon footprint.

Follow the campaign on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, and on the University news page.

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