Press release

University commits to a Scotland Beyond Net Zero

Published on 24 January 2024

The University of Dundee has signed up to an ambitious new climate and sustainability coalition seeking to accelerate Scotland’s transition to a post-net-zero future.

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Scotland Beyond Net Zero brings universities from across the country together in a network committed to combining their strengths to address the major challenges facing the nation.

Scotland BNZ will focus on six key areas in which further research is crucial for achieving net zero and related sustainability goals. These are Food, Transport, Finance, Built environment, Natural systems and Energy.

Dundee is already recognised as one of Scotland’s leading centres of expertise in many areas of environmental research. The University’s commitment to developing new solutions for a cleaner, greener planet is borne out in its new Binks Sustainability Institute, which will attend to the critical need for contemporary societies to confront the climate crisis and to facilitate ways of living in environmentally sustainable ways.

Scotland BNZ was launched by Mairi McAllan MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition, at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh with leading figures from academia, business and civil society attending the event.

Professor Iain Gillespie, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said, “We are proud of our achievements in relation to climate action and net zero and we have ambitious targets to build on this work.

“However, collaboration across institutions is the only way that the world can face up to the existential threat that climate change poses. Scotland Beyond Net Zero is an exciting, and essential, partnership that will bring the nation’s research-intensive universities together to ensure that Scotland is able to overcome the myriad challenges that face the nation.

“We are proud to be signatories to this initiative and look forward to working with colleagues from across Scotland to address the critical questions we face. By working together we will multiply our impact and make Scotland a world leader in environmental sustainability.”

Dundee is host of the UK’s only UNESCO Category 2 centre, which is also the world’s only Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science. The UNESCO Centre works internationally on some of the world’s most urgent problems across multiple sectors and environments and enhances connections to an international network of water scholars.

The University is also home to the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP), which works with undergraduate and postgraduate students to better understand the required global transition from fossil fuels and mineral extraction to a low-carbon energy system and renewables, accessible to all through processes of just transition.

The Binks Sustainability Institute builds on these and other diverse research and teaching strengths. A highly interdisciplinary institute, it will seek to bring science, engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities together as well as working with the James Hutton Institute on food security.

The Institute will also tie into the work of the University’s Africa Initiative, a ten-year commitment that has already established new and exciting partnerships with six universities in Malawi.


Grant Hill

Senior Public Affairs Officer

+44 (0)1382 384768