A UNIVERSITY has slapped a total ban on selling burgers on campus to help halt climate change.
All beef products will be removed from canteens and shops from next month as Goldsmiths, University of London sets out to become carbon neutral by 2025.
Prof Frances Corner — who became college warden in April — said it was impossible to ignore a call for action from students who ‘care passionately about the environment’.
The former university of Blur’s Alex James, Princess Beatrice and artist Damien Hirst — renowned for his pickled cow exhibit — has also imposed a 10p levy on plastic cups and bottles of water.
‘Declaring a climate emergency cannot be empty words,’ Prof Corner said. ‘I truly believe we face a defining moment in global history and Goldsmiths now stands shoulder to shoulder with other organisations willing to call the alarm and take urgent action to cut carbon use.’
Livestock is estimated to be responsible for 14 per cent of human-linked greenhouse gas emissions. Methane released as cows and sheep belch or break wind cause about a third of agricultural emissions.
There is also environmental damage from destroying wild habitats to create grazing land.
But farmers argue Britain’s landscape is ideal for pasture and emissions are offset as grass stores carbon. The National Farmers’ Union said Goldsmiths was being ‘overly simplistic’.
‘Standards of beef production in the UK mean a greenhouse gas footprint 2.5 times smaller than the average,’ said vice-president Stuart Roberts.
Critics pointed out a quarter of Goldsmiths students are from overseas and many add to emissions by flying here.
The university’s students’ union welcomed the beef ban.
But ex-student Alex Wood tweeted: ‘As if being in the middle of the New Cross one-way system and being full of bad art and pretentious hippies wasn’t bad enough, now you can’t even get a burger.’