Students send message to COP26

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Students at Scotland’s oldest university have sent a powerful message to world leaders ahead of COP26 with a demand for ‘Action Not Words,’ ‘Net Zero 2035’ and ‘save the planet picked out in solar-powered lights is captured by a drone high above St Salvator’s Quad.

Building on the success of the award-winning Light It Forward campaign, the University of St Andrews and Liter of Light launched the Human-Powered Messages of Hope for COP26.

Created using recycled materials, the solar-powered lights were used to create powerful, large-scale messages ahead of the global climate conference starting in Glasgow on Sunday 31st October.

St Andrews was one of the first universities in the UK to pledge itself to the fight against climate change, determining to be net zero for carbon emissions by 2035.

Liter of Light is a global, grassroots movement committed to providing affordable, sustainable solar light to people with limited or no access to electricity. Through a network of partnerships around the world, Liter of Light volunteers teach marginalised communities how to use recycled plastic bottles and locally sourced materials to illuminate their homes, businesses, and streets.

Commenting on the global messages of hope movement, Illac Diaz, Executive Director, Liter of Light said: “We are making messages for the planet. COP26 is here in Scotland and what we are trying to do while here is use the solar lights and collecting messages from students to create and amplify these so world leaders know to make the right decisions at COP26.”

Professor Ineke De Moortel, Assistant Vice-Principal Dean of Science added: “We know that the future is our students and the biggest impact we can have as a university is through our students. What we are seeing here is their messages, their hopes to the leaders coming to COP26 and their hopes for the future.”

Liter of Light is the proud recipient of the 2016 University’s prestigious St Andrews Prize for the Environment. The Prize is an environmental initiative led by the University of St Andrews that recognises global projects making significant contributions to environmental issues and concerns, with a focus on sustainability, conservation, biodiversity, and community development.

The lights used in the campaign will go to communities in Senegal, allowing people to remove dangerous, expensive, and dirty kerosene lamps from their homes and providing clean and sustainable solar light.


Videos with drone footage and interviews is available online:–l299z7Qu4

These can be downloaded via:

Drone footage courtesy of

St Andrews QV (Qui Vive) is an independent not-for-profit, non-political platform for news and debates about issues that are important to the Town. It exists to hold decision makers and public services to account while its editorial policy is to accommodate all shades of opinion from all parts of the community, prioritising evidence-based arguments. St Andrews QV is a member of the Independent Community News Network and is committed to the Community Journalism Charter

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