University bans beef to help fight climate change

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LONDON (CBS) In an effort to fight climate change, a university in the UK says hamburgers have to go. Here's more on Britain's first beef-free campus.

Burgers, burritos and anything beef will be off the menu at Goldsmiths University of London when classes start in September.

"Ultimately, little things don't make a difference and we need to intervene right at the heart of these things," said Joe Leam, the president of the Goldsmiths Students Union.

It's a decision the student union made with school staffers to try to reduce carbon emissions.

"I think it's cool, I think it's one step toward, obviously, a greener space," said Madeleine Hammerlund, a student.

The campus of 10,000 students, known for its eco-friendly initiatives, is also trying to limit the use of bottled water and disposable cups, tacking on an extra 12-cent charge.

The school's beef ban follows a major United Nations climate change report last week suggesting people should stop eating so much meat. The report says methane and other greenhouse gases that come from raising livestock are exacerbating climate change. Scientists recommend eating more grains and vegetables instead.

A British farmers union has a beef with the university's new policy, calling it overly simplistic and saying UK production standards are among the most efficient in the world.

"I don't like people just like banning it outright because like food is a big part of the culture here," student Sung Min Lee said.

"I hope others see what we're doing and do the same," Leam said.

Goldsmiths is not the first university to change its menu to try to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2016, Cambridge University began cutting back on the amount of beef and lamb it serves.