Top international universities issue first climate declaration ahead of G20 summit
An international coalition of leading climate research universities urges world leaders to prioritise climate change and will issue its first declaration ahead of the G20 summit.
The declaration, representing one-third of the 100 high-performing climate research universities and a quarter of the top 100 environmental research universities worldwide, wants world leaders to use the post-Covid recovery to implement measures to counteract climate change.
They also warn that failure to do so will result in catastrophic consequences for generations to come.
The climate alliance is led by the International Universities Climate Alliance, which includes UCT.
Climate change is an enormous challenge to overcome but presents the world an opportunity to unite against climate change and invest in a shared-future.
The climate alliance seeks to support global leaders to meet the challenge of the current climate crisis through sharing evidence-based information on climate research. The two-day summit will commence tomorrow.
Founding member of the alliance and president and vice-chancellor of the University of New South Wales, Australia,says he and his colleagues recognised the need for experts with diverse voices to speak out about the climate crisis.
“Many challenges lie ahead of us in combating the existential crisis in which the world finds itself. The International Universities Climate Alliance is a rich resource upon which governments, business, industry and the wider community can rely for evidence-based expert advice,” he said.
UCT’s participation in the alliance will be led by the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), one of the leading institutes in climate change on the continent and internationally.
The ACDI brings together work in the field of climate and development across the university, including areas such as physical climate science, renewable energy, climate modelling, urban resilience, poverty and inequality, and economics.
“We have the knowledge, technology and tools to build a climate resilient low carbon future, but we need the international political system to proactively support the transition to a green economy.
“Our leaders need to move beyond lofty talk to real action, supported by best available knowledge, and that is what this alliance provides and is lobbying for,” says prof Mark New, director of the ACDI and UCT’s pro-vice-chancellor for climate change.
The climate alliance will support world leaders, policy makers and industries in planning for and responding to climate change.
Currently, momentum is building for countries to decarbonise their economies and in recent months, there have been moves by various nations to fortify incremental efforts with policies and actions equal to the urgency of the situation.
The Alliance will provide a central hub for universities to share the latest climate research and enable greater collaboration between leading research teams.