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The impact of coronavirus on carbon emissions and climate change: a longer-term perspective

In mid-March, prior to the announcement of lockdown in the UK, Change Agents UK published a blog post that speculated on the potential environmental impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, both positive and negative. This explored the potential effect of many changes on national and global carbon emissions, such as the normalisation of remote-working practices, and the vast reduction in air travel. Four months on (the longest third of a year on record), we want to re-examine the impact of the pandemic on various environmental systems, now that more data is available and concrete impacts can be seen. Environmental Benefits of Lockdown As predicted, decreases in carbon emissions were seen both na

Education in crisis: Opportunities for new learning and transformations to sustainability

Worldwide, millions of students are facing unprecedented disruptions to their education. Exams have been cancelled, enrolment dates pushed back, key events postponed, and the delivery of lectures and course content changed radically and indefinitely. The promise of post-graduate employment (a key sales pitch of universities in recent decades) no longer offers the same reassurance. The National Union of Students (NUS) recently surveyed nearly 10,000 students and found 95% ‘expressed fears about the impact of the [corona]virus on the wider economy’ and 81% ‘expressed concerns about their job prospects’. As mainstream approaches are perpetuating cultures of unsustainability, our Higher Educatio

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