COP27: UNICA shares Statement on the Climate and Environmental Emergency

10 November 2022 | From UNICA

COP27: UNICA shares Statement on the Climate and Environmental Emergency

On the occasion of the COP27 (Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference), taking place from 6 November to 18 November 2022, UNICA shares a Statement addressing the Climate and Environmental Emergency.

The Statement, which results of the collaborative work among academic leaders responsible for sustainability within UNICA member universities and the UNICA Green & SDGs working group, goes through the longstanding commitment of UNICA to the sustainable development and calls on its members to take significant action to reduce their negative climate and environmental impacts.

This statement aims to be both a document the universities can use to adopt initiatives and engage in actions to reduce their climate and environmental impacts, but also a reminder for UNICA itself to continue actively engaging in and promote sustainable collaborations!

Key messages of the Statement

UNICA starts by pointing out the institutional opportunities and responsibilities of the network by stating that “universities can play a key role in reaching a sustainable future“. It also goes beyond as to acknowledge the geographic liability of its members’ location by recognising “Europe’s historical responsibility for climate change due to the volume of greenhouse gases released from industry and fossil fuels over the last 170 years.” In particular, the document stresses that climate justice needs to be central to the transition to a carbon neutral society, ensuring a better and fairer society, addressing social inequalities caused or increased by the climate and environmental emergency.

The document goes on to highlight some UNICA activities that mirror UNICA’s long-standing commitment to sustainable development, including the activities of the Green & SDGs Working Group and participation in European funded projects that have SDGs at their core. This commitment considers cultural and national peculiarities of member universities as added values to foster collaborations and exchanges among European universities.

In the final part, UNICA presents six points of action and calls on its network of universities to implement them as a way to “harness their academic research and communities to support society and policymakers make the transition to a carbon neutral society and address social inequalities such as energy poverty.

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