Coming together to respond to the climate crisis
On the eve of the global student strike for climate, the UTS community has come together to hear from academic leaders in their field and to share responses to climate change.
The showcase event – Sharing Climate Responses - heard from twelve UTS academics and sustainability experts from across faculties, centres and the university’s operations.
UTS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Attila Brungs said the event was about sharing the tangible and positive actions the UTS community is making in response to the climate crisis.
“UTS staff and students are making major contributions to encourage action on, and provide sustainability solutions for, climate change both within their own communities and more widely in society,” Professor Brungs said.
“The research and evidence from our academic community and the staff working in our sustainability teams have informed and guided many of the university’s operational decisions over a long period of time.
“This has included our signing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, renewable energy leadership programs, and campus sustainability measures.
“We have a long track record supporting research and initiatives as part of our response to climate challenges, as well as building on an exciting future improving societal wellbeing. However, there is a lot more to do.”
Professor Brungs said the university was working on its next phase of climate action.
“On a recommendation from the UTS Faculty of Science and the research community, UTS today signed the Climate Emergency Declaration.
To declare human-induced climate change an emergency is the correct and morally right thing to do.
Professor Stuart White
UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures
“This is just another aspect of our commitment to be an integral part of the solution through excellence and innovation in our teaching and learning, research, operations and community engagement.”
By signing on to the climate emergency declaration, UTS is:
- committing to mobilise more resources for action-oriented climate change research and skills creation;
- committing to working towards carbon neutrality;
- and pledging to increase the delivery of sustainability education across curriculum, campus and community outreach programs.
“To declare human-induced climate change an emergency is the correct and morally right thing to do. It’s our most wicked problem, but the transformational shift required to combat climate change offers so many positive opportunities to create a brighter and more sustainable future,” said Professor Stuart White, director of the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures.
“UTS has already been working closely with governments, businesses and communities in Australia and overseas for over two decades on solutions to climate change. We have demonstrated many exciting and innovative solutions by integrating our teaching, research and operations. This climate declaration will only further strengthen the work we do,” said Professor White.
Examples of initiatives already being undertaken at UTS:
- UTS research has led the way in addressing climate change, including: driving the clean energy transition; understanding the impact of climate change on Australian ecosystems and communities
- In an Australian first, UTS developed a new purchasing model to allow energy users in the city to buy direct from generators in regional areas, supporting direct investment in the renewable energy sector
- Solar panels installed on campus rooftops
- Committed to purchasing the equivalent of 50% of its electricity demand from a solar farm in Walgett
- The recently-opened UTS Central food court is plastic-free
- Australian-first partnerships for district recycled water and chilled-water sharing
- One of the first five Australian universities to sign up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals