The University of Gothenburg signs up to the Climate Framework
The Climate Framework outlines how universities and colleges should adjust to climate change with the aim of achieving the target of 1.5°C. Last summer, a number of universities were encouraged to sign up to it and after an internal review and a recommendation, the Vice-Chancellor has made the decision to sign up to the framework.
The university management heard of the initiative in April 2019 and the Vice-Chancellor commissioned the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, GMV, to investigate and recommend whether the university should sign up to the framework or not. The investigation indicated that there was broad agreement among responding faculties and student unions, as well as within the Central Administration, that the university should sign up to it.
“It carries more weight when the entire organisation backs this, since the measures required to manage climate change will impact all of us”, says Vice-Chancellor Eva Wiberg. For that reason, it was important for me to secure broad support for the Climate Framework internally, so that our efforts do not end up being just a signature.
The Climate Framework consists of a general Letter of Intent and a Set of Guidelines. The Letter of Intent outlines the commitments of the academic institutions in four points:
- We will continue to contribute to enabling society to achieve the set targets through education, research and collaboration.
- We will reduce our own climate impact in line with society’s commitments as they are expressed in national and international agreements.
- We will set far-reaching goals for our climate initiatives and also provide funds for achieving these goals and conducting follow-ups.
- We will clearly communicate our climate initiatives to inspire and disseminate knowledge to other stakeholders and citizens.
The next step is to organise our efforts and integrate them with the university’s existing endeavours in this area, such as the Environmental Management System. The Vice-Chancellor also wants to improve our opportunities for communicating our research pertaining to the climate and sustainability.
“When Greta Thunberg says ‘listen to the scientists’ I want us, as a university, to step up to the plate. Can we become better at making our voices heard and communicating climate-related research?