July 24, 2019

The University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) today announced a platform aimed at accelerating research on climate change policy across its 20 member universities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The announcement occurred at UC3’s inaugural summit hosted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The Ohio State University is a founding member of UC3.

The Research for Policy Platform equips UC3 as a collective to research urgent climate change policy issues and provide recommendations for just and equitable outcomes. The Platform includes institutional pledges from the UC3 members that have committed to the platform to support the Coalition’s research and program longevity, and will culminate in discretionary action by university leaders to advance climate policy at all different levels of government.

“UC3’s Research for Policy Platform will strengthen efforts across sectors with science-informed and evidence-based policy insight towards smart climate solutions,” said Tim Carter, President of Second Nature. “UC3 presidents will leave the Vancouver Summit equipped and ready to advance effective climate policy in response to the climate emergency.”

By convening higher education leaders, academics and cross-sector partners the Research for Policy Platform is expected to create a pathway for university leaders to take informed action and advocate for effective climate change policy.

Coalition welcomes two new members

The Coalition now includes 20 top-tier research universities with the recent addition of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and The University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Both institutions have a strong history of partnering with community stakeholders and look forward to expanding their cross-sector climate action as members of UC3.

“Creating a culture of sustainability starts with leadership,” said Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University. “Queen’s implemented an ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2040 and we are on track to achieve our milestone target of a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Universities can be influential leaders in combating climate change and promoting environmental stewardship, and UC3 affords us the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded research institutions to achieve innovative climate solutions.”

Summit welcomes government, academia and industry

At the summit, UC3 university leaders, academics and key industry stakeholders met with senior Canadian government officials, including the Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (British Columbia), to discuss meeting climate commitments and aligning efforts to reduce emissions sufficiently to keep global temperature rise well under 2ºC.

“UBC is honoured to host the UC3 Summit and bring together the leaders of top research universities and others to discuss higher education’s role in limiting global GHG emissions and associated temperature rises to under 2ºC,” said Santa Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia. “We need to intensify our academic and operational efforts on our campuses, in affiliated communities and across the world. We must go beyond minimizing harm to becoming net contributors to human and ecological health.”

Leading North American research universities formed UC3, a program of Second Nature, in 2018 to help their respective communities achieve their climate goals and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

Source: The Ohio State University Sustainability Institute