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Our society faces a climate emergency

UTS believes climate change requires urgent and transformative action. Inspired by the 2019 Global Climate Strike, UTS signed a climate declaration, pledging to: commit more resources to climate change research and skills creation increase sustainability education across our curriculum, campus and community programs continue to bring communities, industry and government together to debate the contested themes around the climate emergency. argue for the need for a climate consensus; and work towards carbon neutrality on campus.

UTS4Climate highlights what we have done since then, and how we continue to take action to inspire a positive change in course for Australia’s future.

#uts4climate

Kriti Nagrath: At UTS we understand that the effects of climate change will impact many aspects of life. That's why researchers across the university are working hard to develop practical solutions to lessen climate change effects and to prepare us to meet them head-on.

We collaborate across disciplines to face the challenges climate change presents and we work with industry to ensure that our research translates to action. Right now, researchers at our C3 Climate Change Cluster are innovating with algae.

Professor Peter Ralph: Our research has a range of opportunities to both address mitigation and adaptation. So, we can help to address climate change by producing new products that are carbon negative or carbon neutral that take atmospheric carbon and produce industrial products whether that's pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fuels, feed food, all of these products are going to help us mitigate climate change.

Kriti Nagrath: C3 researchers are also working to find ways to build resilience in our coral reefs.

Dr Emma Camp: Coral reefs are under threat from climate change and there has never been a more critical time to understand what solutions exist to aid their future survival. Through my research I’ve discovered corals living in unusual habitats that are warmer, more acidic and have low oxygen seawater conditions than the normal reef. By studying these corals I’m furthering our understanding of what corals need to do to survive into the future and using this information to advocate for immediate climate action.

Kriti Nagrath: While researchers at the faculty of Design Architecture and Building are harnessing transformational design that responds to climate change to enhance wellbeing.

Professor Leena Thomas: The energy waste and carbon intense nature of the built environment are significant contributors to climate change. Buildings and construction account for approximately 40 percent of energy related co2 emissions. The Fairwater Living Laboratory led out of DAB bridges technical and human dimensions in response to some of these challenges. Our findings are providing insights about the co2 reduction and energy savings for the residents. The work is also providing guidance for government and industry to mitigate extreme heat and promote resident health and wellbeing.

Kriti Nagrath: The Institute for Sustainable Futures is showing industry how to reach net zero.

Alison Atherton: All sectors of the economy need to decarbonise and key groups like investors need to understand what that looks like in practice and so what we're doing is we're working with a group of institutional investors and we're helping them to set targets for decarbonising their portfolios by developing clear pathways to achieve net zero and 100 percent renewables by 2050.

Kriti Nagrath: Other ISF researchers are mapping the path to adjust energy transition while identifying the opportunities it will bring.

Chris Briggs: We've been doing research on jobs in renewable energy and how we might transition workers in coal regions into new industries. There's not a lot of information on

renewable energy jobs because it's not included in the classifications used by the bureau of statistics and so we've been seeking to fill that gap and help these regions transition across to clean energy.

Kriti Nagrath: These are just some of the many ways in which UTS researchers are using expertise innovation and collaboration to enable climate action now for a better future.

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The UTS4Climate podcast creates a space to explore climate change from all angles, and to find practical answers to what we can actually do to address the climate crisis.

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