Engagement Process

Mobilizing the UBC community

For many years, UBC has been a leading university committed to climate action through teaching and learning, research, engagement and operations. However, more urgent progress now needs to happen. By mobilizing our diverse communities and using our collective expertise, resources and influence, UBC can help drive crucial change locally and globally.



  • December 5, 2019

    UBC Declaration on the Climate Emergency

    President Ono released the Climate Emergency Statement, which was unanimously endorsed by the Board of Governors.

  • February 27, 2020

    Engagement Process Begins


  • March 2, 2020

    Pop-up Booths Begin

  • March 11, 2020

    UBC Vancouver Campus-wide Forum

    A chance for students, faculty, staff and the campus community to learn, engage and discuss bold actions around the climate crisis. Learn more.

  • Mid-March, 2020

    All in-person engagement closes

    Due to COVID-19, all in-person engagement is suspended. The engagement process is extended to enable a transition to virtual community dialogues.

  • March 27, 2020

    Online Survey Closes


  • April 2020

    Interim Report Writing

    Progress report prepared based on input from the online survey, pop-up events and campus-wide forum. View the full report here.

  • May–June 2020

    Virtual Community Dialogues

    A series of topic-based online community dialogue events.

  • June 16, 2020

    Interim Report Submission to Board of Governors

  • July–October 2020

    Final Report Writing

    Input from all aspects of the engagement process is compiled and reviewed by the Task Force Working Groups and Task Force members in their development of recommendations to the Board of Governors.

  • December 2020

    Board of Governors Meeting

    Final report with recommendations to be presented.

Engagement outcomes

We recognize this initial engagement process is being done within an expedited time frame. Given the scale of the climate emergency, we are not expecting to find all the answers immediately. Rather, this is the beginning of a conversation that will inform our commitment to leadership in addressing climate change. It is anticipated that the recommendations going to the Board of Governors in December will be considered in the context of the overall Strategic Plan, Indigenous Strategic Plan, Climate Action Plan, and Inclusion Action Plan, among other relevant policies and initiatives.

Where are we now?


Task Force Working Groups

In June, five working groups were created to develop draft recommendations for review by the task force. This was to ensure recommendations incorporate the wealth of expertise within the UBC community.

Each group focuses on one of the following topics:

  • Indigenous engagement
  • research
teaching and learning
community engagement and wellbeing
  • engagement beyond campus (partnerships, advocacy and public engagement)

Working group membership includes faculty, staff and student experts, including task force representatives. Specifically, the working groups are responsible for:

  • reviewing and incorporating community input from the survey and virtual dialogues
  • developing recommendations that are grounded in topic-area expertise and rooted in the principles of the Climate Emergency Declaration (including but not limited to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, climate justice, 1.5oC global temperature targets and the managed decline of fossil fuel use)
  • engaging community experts in the development of recommendations
  • determining implementation pathways and prioritizing recommendations
  • liaising with other working groups on cross-cutting recommendations

In addition, work is underway to accelerate emissions reductions from campus operations and identify new ways of addressing emissions from commuting, food systems and business travel across Vancouver and Okanagan campuses through the Climate Action Plan 2030 process.

Community Dialogues

In addition to community dialogues held prior to April, through May and June UBC and the Climate Hub hosted 11 virtual dialogues on the following topics related to the climate emergency:

  • community wellbeing and resilience
  • campus operations
  • climate resiliency of UBC’s campuses
  • teaching and learning
  • research
  • climate justice in UBC plans and programs
  • advancing a sustainable and just society
  • community engagement
  • divestment and sustainable investments
  • partnerships

Community dialogues generated deep engagement across many different campus groups:

  • 7 in-person dialogues attended by 199 participants
  • 11 virtual dialogues attended by 511 participants

The feedback collected at the community dialogues will be added to results from previous activities (summarized in the Consultation Interim Report) and incorporated into a final consultation report. This will be reviewed by the task force and working groups in developing recommendations for the Board of Governors.

Consultation Interim Report

The interim report is designed as an update to the UBC Board of Governors and the UBC community, summarizing the engagement process and the emerging themes from the feedback collected between February 27 and March 27, 2020. View the full report here.

Interim Report Highlights

  • 3,244 participants from across UBC’s communities provided input
  • 1,985 online survey responses (Feb 27 – Mar 27)
  • 1,009 engagements at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan pop-up events
  • 180 attendees at the UBC Vancouver Climate Emergency Forum panel presentation, 70 participants engaged in group discussions
  • Emerging areas of focus include:
    • teaching, learning and research
    • administration and investment
    • community support and engagement
    • campus operations
    • commuting
    • advocacy and partnerships

UBC Vancouver Climate Emergency Forum

On March 11, 2020, the UBC Vancouver Climate Emergency Forum brought together students, faculty and staff to learn, engage and discuss bold actions around how UBC can address the climate emergency.

The panel discussion was hosted by Walter Merida, associate dean, research and industrial partnerships, UBC Engineering, who is also senior faculty advisor to the president. Santa J. Ono gave the opening remarks to 180 participants, and 70 people took part in the breakout discussions.

The panel included:

  • Christine Boyle, Vancouver city councillor
  • David R. Boyd, associate professor of law, policy and sustainability
  • Gregor Robertson, global ambassador of Mayors for Climate and former Vancouver mayor
  • Adriana Laurent, UBC Climate Hub

The following video of the panel discussion will inform and inspire your conversation around the climate emergency.



Pop-up Events

UBC held three pop-up events on the Vancouver campus and five at UBC Okanagan from March 2 to 11. Designed as an easy way for the UBC community to provide input on the engagement process, these events collectively attracted over 1,000 people.

Online Survey

The online survey collected input from 1,985 participants from February 27 to March 27. A full analysis of survey responses are included in the Consultation Interim Report. View the full report here.