Promoting Climate Neutrality at Universities Across the Globe
by Xenya Cherny Scanlon, Information Officer, Division of Communications and Public Information, United Nations Environment Programme
How can a university in Asia or a college in Africa get the best and latest knowledge about climate neutrality? How can ACUPCC members share their achievements in tackling climate change with the rest of the world? Can low-carbon, green campuses truly go global?
A new partnership between the ACUPCC and the Climate Neutral Network led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) seeks to achieve just that: promoting international knowledge-sharing of academic expertise to accelerate the global transition towards low-carbon economies and societies.
As the voice of the environment in the United Nations system, UNEP works to address climate change by strengthening the ability of individuals, communities and nations to adapt to climate change, move towards low carbon societies, improve understanding of climate change and raise public awareness about the Earth’s changing climate.
Launched in February 2008, the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net) is a high-profile outreach initiative to promote a global transition to low carbon economies and societies. Today, the CN Net has more than 180 participants, including ten countries, three regions, 15 cities, more than 100 private companies, UN agencies and leading NGOs that have set some of the world’s most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The partnership between UNEP and ACUPCC, announced on September 23rd “Go Climate Neutral Day” held as part of Global Climate Week, will bring together UNEP’s expertise and platform for global outreach and ACUPCC’s technical capacity in promoting climate neutrality on campuses and curricula.
The partnership will highlight the current achievements of ACUPCC members through the Climate Neutral Network by sharing their successes with a global audience, so that other universities, especially in the developing world, can learn from the progress made and develop their own educational networks geared towards achieving climate neutrality.
The CN Net presents opportunities for the twinning of US universities and those from across the globe in addition to possible public and private partnerships and chances to provide academic support to other participants, for instance local governments, who are also attempting to achieve climate neutrality.
Some ACUPCC signatories have already joined the CN Net, including University of California, Berkeley, College of the Atlantic, Middlebury College, and Evergreen State College, along with other universities from China, Spain, Thailand and United Kingdom.
Membership in the CN Net represents participation in the vanguard of the global movement towards low carbon economies and societies, and ACUPCC members are encouraged to join the CN Net.
ACUPCC members can simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, saying, “I am a member of ACUPCC and would like to join.” Participation in the CN Net will not entail any costs or further obligations, and member profiles on the CN Net website will include links to the ACUPCC signatories’ profiles on the ACUPCC Reporting System.
By joining the CN Net, ACUPCC members can also get involved in other public awareness initiatives carried out by UNEP, for instance the annual World Environment Day celebrations on 5 June, or outreach campaigns like Seal the Deal! that aims to galvanize political will and public support for reaching a comprehensive global climate agreement in Copenhagen in December. You can add your voice to the global chorus by signing the climate petition online at www.sealthedeal2009.org, or even organize a “stamping station” at your university between now and December.
Browse by Topic
- AASHE Biz
- Co-Curricular Education
- Community Engagement
- Connecting the Dots
- Dining Services
- Diversity, Access, and Affordability
- Faculty and Staff Development
- Government & Legislation
- Human Resources
- Presidents & Chancellors