The climate emergency is one of the most pressing issues of our time. At this pivotal moment, the decisions and actions we take today will reverberate beyond our own borders and lifetimes.
UBC’s Climate Emergency Declaration in 2019 was followed by engagement with over 3,900 students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members. The resulting Climate Emergency Task Force (CETF) report includes significant new commitments and accelerated activities to achieve full divestment, meet our carbon zero goal, and support climate leadership and initiatives led by Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour.
The report was endorsed in principle by the UBC Board of Governors in February 2021, and in March the UBC Sustainability Initiative commenced the role of convening and coordinating implementation.
The University of British Columbia has unveiled a bold new climate action plan to accelerate emissions reductions and achieve net-zero emissions by 2035 at its Vancouver campus—15 years ahead of the previous target date.
Demonstrate institutional leadership on climate justice
In order to undo the systems of oppression that enable exploitation, UBC is working to acknowledge and reckon with its own role in contributing to the climate crisis, while leveraging its intellectual and moral authority as well as its social and financial procurement power to advance climate justice in other organizations and advocate for broader social change beyond its institutional boundaries.
Expand, strengthen and coordinate climate research at UBC
UBC can address the climate crisis within and across wide-ranging disciplines. Climate researchers at UBC are making considerable contributions, and UBC is investing in further developing the capacity of faculty members, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and a new focal point for climate research.
Foster a culture of engagement and advocacy on climate action
To succeed in fostering this culture, UBC’s community members must be equipped with the tools, resources and support needed to flourish. While engagement must be wide-reaching, it must also come with the recognition that particular emphasis, time and resources must be allocated to engaging systemically marginalized communities.
The disarming case to act right now on climate change
Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world’s attention.