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Vice-Chancellor backs Bianca Jagger’s campaign to cut CO2 emissions

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Professor John Joughin, the University of East London (UEL) Vice-Chancellor, has joined leaders from the worlds of academia, law, the arts and non-governmental organisations in calling upon politicians to commit to CO2 reduction targets to solve the problem of climate change.

The initiative is spearheaded by human rights campaigner and UEL honorary doctorate recipient Bianca Jagger, president and chief executive of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation.

Ms Jagger received her UEL doctorate in 2010 in recognition of her commitment to human rights, social justice and the environment. Mark Stephens CBE, the chair of UEL’s Board of governors, is a trustee of Ms Jagger’s foundation.

Professor Joughin is one of nearly 400 high-profile signatories to an open letter to politicians published The Huffington Post. Others backing the campaign include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and actor and comedian Stephen Fry.

The letter, written by Ms Jagger and published under the headline ‘Urgent Call to World Leaders to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change’, comes just a few weeks before policy-makers gather in Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP21).

Ms Jagger wants global leaders to take action to prevent average global temperature rises of above 2°C. She is also calling for “Green Climate Fund financial investment”.

UEL has established a reputation as a centre of learning and research in the field of environmental sustainability, and the University has put this into practice through proactive measures to reduce the carbon footprint of its two campuses in Docklands and Stratford.

It has also formed an Environmental Sustainability Board and recruited a full-time sustainability manager and sustainability projects officer.