UC commits to climate change policy research at coalition summit

Martin Dee/University of British Columbia/Courtesy

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As a member of the University Climate Change Coalition, or UC3 — a coalition of North American research universities designed to help combat climate change — the UC system announced its involvement with a platform aimed at accelerating climate change policy research on July 23.

At the UC3 Vancouver Summit at the University of British Columbia, coalition members adopted the Research for Policy Platform. According to UC Office of the President spokesperson Sarah McBride, the platform establishes a framework for UC3 members to guide their research of “urgent climate change policy” and to further their goal of providing “research-based solutions that can be scaled up.”

UC3’s Research for Policy Platform will strengthen efforts across sectors with science-informed and evidence-based policy insight towards smart climate solutions,” said Tim Carter, president of UC3’s parent program, Second Nature, in a July 23 Second Nature press release. “UC3 presidents will leave the Vancouver Summit equipped and ready to advance effective climate policy in response to the climate emergency.”

Member universities of UC3, which are located in the United States, Canada and Mexico, committed to mobilizing their resources to advance local and regional climate action and reexamine the scientific community’s research agenda, according to the press release. Coalition members also use UC3 as a platform to share their knowledge with the higher education sector, their communities and partners in the public and private sectors to accelerate “place-based climate action.”

According to McBride, UC3 university leaders also committed to supporting the coalition’s longevity and research through the Research for Policy Platform and ultimately advancing climate policy at all levels of government.

“UC plays an important role as a change agent in the state and nation, with unique capabilities to accelerate research-driven climate actions and to leverage our strengths and expertise to advocate for equitable climate policy for all,” McBride said in an email.

McBride said in the email that the UC’s commitment to UC3 will “bridge the gap” between pioneering academic research on climate and “on-the-ground actions” that universities and communities can implement.

McBride stated that universities in particular, including the UC, have a responsibility to use research to create technologies and solutions that will benefit the public good. The UC system has additionally committed to climate goals such as carbon neutrality, clean energy and waste minimization. According to McBride, all UC campus health systems will achieve 100 percent clean electricity and at least 40 percent of natural gas combusted on-site will be biogas by 2025.

“UC is a leader in the fight against global climate change and is working diligently to meet our sustainability goals,” McBride said in the email.

Emily Hom is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @hom_emily.