Yorkshire university at forefront of action group to tackle climate change

A Yorkshire university is part of a new international alliance to accelerate climate action globally.

Monday, 20th April 2020, 6:00 am
UK students pictured taking part in a strike for the climate crisis as part of the YouthStrike4Climate movement. Photo credit: Aaron Chown

The University of Leeds is a founding member of the International Universities Climate Alliance, an action group created to tackle the urgent global challenge of the climate crisis.

Sir Alan Langland, vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said the university will take a leading role in net-zero and climate resilient solutions.

“Tackling the climate crisis requires global cooperation on an unprecedented scale," he said.

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Sir Alan Langland, vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, said:Tackling the climate crisis requires global cooperation on an unprecedented scale." Photo credit: other

"The alliance comprises a global network of universities, united by their dedication to producing critical climate research."

The University of Leeds will train a new generation of innovative researchers to deliver net-zero on the university campuses in the city and around the world and share approaches across other universities in the action group.

It will also provide evidence which will aid in urgent decision making to tackle climate change.

The Climate Alliance, initiated by the University of New South Wales, Sydney, is a collaboration between 40 of the world’s leading climate research universities.

The Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds. Photo credit: other

This includes institutes from Brazil, China, Fiji, Ghana, Kenya, Netherlands, Singapore, the UK and USA.

Professor Ian Jacobs, president and vice-chancellor of the University of New South Wales, Sydney said the Climate Alliance was launched because of the vital role universities play in advancing the science and solutions in this field.

He said: “This new alliance will be at the forefront of the international conversation around addressing climate change.”

The action group will identify the most effective ways to communicate research-based facts related to climate change to the public.

To do this the project will engage in work across climate change science, impact, mitigation strategies and adaptation.

The researchers say the project will result in better decision making. It will enable greater engagement with policymakers, educators and business leaders looking to apply the latest research findings to accelerate climate action.

The Climate Alliance benefits from a multi-disciplinary research focus around the most important research themes.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the members decided not to delay formation of the action group due to the pressing and ongoing need to accelerate climate action.

Professor Piers Forster, director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds, said: “This alliance has world-leading research capabilities - we now need to work much closer with our governments, our cities, our industries and to learn by doing.

“Through this new international collaboration we hope to provide a leading, unified voice that can help drive the acceleration in changes required.”

Dr Louise Ellis, the director of sustainability at the University of Leeds added the university are committed to tackling the climate crisis head on.

"We are doing this through changes we are making to our campus operations, our research expertise and the way we interact with the world and through our curriculum across the board" she said.

“We’re proud to be joining this Alliance to help increase the impact that our own climate action can achieve on to a global scale.”

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