The following was contributed to an EAUC forum by Dave Krugman:
I think the challenges that universities are having in cutting absolute targets whilst increasing estate size brings up the global conflict between growth and climate change. Since we cannot grow the atmosphere and oceans, we need to address absolute targets if our goal is to actually fight global warming and ocean acidification. Using relative targets is important to explain the larger picture yet will side step the whole point if it becomes the dominating metric. One thing to keep in mind is that UK universities represent only around 0.4% of the UK's carbon emissions yet represent almost 10 times (4%) of the voting age population. This means our advocacy efforts should be leveraged to address carbon reductions beyond our estates.
Indeed; or as I once heard an American VC say: "We may have only 2% of the carbon, but we've 100% of the students." I hope EAUC will take such points more seriously than it usually does in its plans.