Earth Day: Apples for Priestley Centre Launch

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Tom Bliss (UBoC), Rita Oldenbourg (LUU Bardon Grange), Prof Piers Forster (Director of both UBoC and the Priestley Centre) and Malus Domesticus ‘Elstar’

On 22nd of April (Earth Day), UBoC were pleased to donate two apple trees for the launch of The Priestley International Centre for Climate, to be planted outside the University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment, where both institutions are based. 

The two cross-pollinating trees are part of a worldwide social media campaign linking the signing of the Paris Climate Change Agreement on Earth Day with an ambitious initiative to plant a network of 8 billion trees in more than 160 countries – equivalent to one for every man, woman and child alive.

Academics at the Priestley Centre, the University’s new strategic centre for climate change research, took part in the UN summit, and are actively engaged in research on transition pathways to turn the Agreement into actions.

The trees will provide free fruit snacks to students and staff, and benefit pollinators in accordance with the University’s biodiversity strategy – adding to the food grown in the campus allotments nearby in the innovative Sustainable Garden  run by Rita Oldenbourg.

Piers Forster, Professor of Physical Climate Change said “I’m delighted for us to play a practical role in marking the Paris Agreement. We are also using it to announce our own launch in June, so by planting the trees on Earth Day we putting down roots for Priestley and the planet.”

The Priestley Centre represents an investment of £6million over 5 years by the University of Leeds, and will launch formally on 14 June 2016 with a VIP Leeds alumnus awarding an international prize for climate change research. There will also be a public evening event in the form of a ‘Climate Question Time’ chaired by Carbon Brief editor Leo Hickman with main speaker Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change and other experts from the fields of government, policy and climate science.