St Andrews University students call for action on climate change at COP26 through lit messages

Picture: University of St Andrews

A powerful range of messages calling for action at COP26 to deal with climate change has been sent by St Andrews University students.

The message was written using solar-powered lights and pictured using a drone high above St Salvator's Quad.

It builds on the success of the award-winning Light It Forward campaign, with the university teaming up with Liter of Light.

Recycled materials were used, with the solar-powered lights being used to create powerful, large-scale messages ahead of the major climate conference starting in Glasgow from this Sunday.

St Andrews was one of the UK's first universities to pledge itself to the fight against climate change, determining to be net zero for carbon emissions by 2035.

A range of striking, large-scale messages of hope have been created.

They include:

  • "Action not words"
  • "Net Zero 2035"
  • "Save the planet"

Liter of Light is a global, grassroots movement committed to providing affordable, sustainable solar light to people with limited or no access to electricity.

Through a network of partnerships around the world, Liter of Light volunteers teach marginalised communities how to use recycled plastic bottles and locally sourced materials to illuminate their businesses, homes and streets.

Illac Diaz, Executive Director for Liter of Light, said: "We are making messages for the planet.

"COP26 is here in Scotland and what we are trying to do while here is use the solar lights and collecting messages from students to create and amplify these so world leaders know to make the right decisions at COP26."

Professor Ineke De Moortel, Assistant Vice-Principal Dean of Science at St Andrews University, said: "We know that the future is our students and the biggest impact we can have as a university is through our students.

"What we are seeing here is their messages, their hopes to the leaders coming to COP26 and their hopes for the future."

Liter of Light received the university’s prestigious St Andrews Prize for the Environment in 2016. 

The Prize is an environmental initiative led by the university that recognises global projects making significant contributions to environmental issues and concerns, with a focus on sustainability, conservation, biodiversity, and community development.

Communities in Senegal will get the lights used in this campaign, allowing people to remove dangerous, expensive, and dirty kerosene lamps from their homes and providing clean and sustainable solar light instead.

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