By Laura Halliwell

In the modern-day, it gets more and more vital that we lead more sustainable lives. Minimising our impact on the environment and the planet. On Monday the 14th of March the University of Hull helped launch the ‘Oh Yes! Net Zero’ campaign will aim to allow the University as well as the city of Hull and its residents to achieve net-Zero. The launch of this campaign took place in Hull and in attendance were industry experts, Vice-Chancellor Professor Susan Lea as well as Cabinet Minister, Alok Sharma, President of COP26, showing the importance of this campaign. Speaking at the ‘Oh Yes! Net Zero’ launch, Mr Sharma said:

“Cities have an absolutely vital role to play. Cities like Hull are leading the way with 2030 carbon neutral targets.

“Businesses and communities play a vital role too. People power pushes local and national governments to act and take action.”

“This is an industrial cluster that does generate the single largest level of emissions, but collaboration is creating a clean industrial cluster, as a city, a hub, of offshore wind; helping with the energy transition.

“Home grown renewables, such as wind, provides us with energy security too. In keeping with the proud tradition of shaping our nation, Hull, beyond this campaign, senses the economic opportunity Net Zero presents.”

The Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign is a collaboration involving the University of Hull, Marketing Humber, Reckitt and Hull City Council as well as many other organisations in Hull. The campaign aims to encourage organisations as well as individuals to make positive changes that will help reach a net-zero future. The aim of Oh Yes! is for Hull to eventually become a ‘Living Lab,’ city. This means that Hull will lead by example, being a case study, which demonstrates how net-zero can be achieved in a specific area and it is hoped that in the future several other cities in the UK will follow suit.

Every individual, business and organisation have a carbon footprint and if each one of us makes positive changes to reduce this, we can all contribute to achieving net-zero which is why this campaign is so important. It will encourage many people to be aware of and reduce their carbon footprint and thus we can all work together to achieve net-zero.

Traditionally being an industrial city, Hull has an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions, with one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions being generated by UK industry. There are six industrial clusters Humber is the largest, emitting more than 12 million tonnes of C02 per year, which equates to 37% of emissions from the six largest industrial clusters. In 2019, the largest overall regional reduction in emissions since 2018 was reported in Yorkshire and the Humber (down 4.9%), but there is still much work to be done. It is therefore vital that in order to for the UK to reach our targets as a nation, in the Humber region we lead by example and make positive changes that will be beneficial to the whole of the UK.

For the city of Hull this is extremely important, with the role that Hull will have in helping the UK achieve net-zero already being recognised by the UK Government; with Hull achieving front runner status in 2020 to receive the Government’s £1 billion carbon capture fund, funding that will be extremely beneficial to the city in the long term.

The University of Hull has played an important role in this project, with experts from the University leading the way and sharing their knowledge and expertise on how we can work to achieve net-zero. On-campus you may have seen a range of activities and stalls which have supported the campaign, this includes the Oh Yes! Net Zero shed outside the Brynmor Jones Library, close to the plaza. This gives students and members of the community the opportunity to make a sustainability pledge by writing it on the wall of the shed. Some of the pledges so far include travelling more sustainably, reducing consumption of meat, taking shorter showers and ensuring lights and TVs are switched off when not in use. You can be involved yourself and write your own pledge on the shed! There is also chalk stencils drawn on the ground on the major walkways around campus, in support of the campaign.

As a student at the University of Hull, you can also sign up for the Oh Yes Net Zero! Campaign which will keep you up to date with its progress as well as provide you with tips and ideas about how to live more sustainably. If everyone works together, we will make positive changes to reduce our carbon footprint and reach net zero, and the Oh Yes Net Zero campaign is the first step you can take to achieve this is targeting the most deprived children in Britain.

Photo Credit: Markus Spiske via Unsplash