International alliance to accelerate climate action

Leeds has joined an international alliance of universities to help communicate research on effective ways to meet the urgent global challenge of the climate crisis.

The alliance includes 40 of the world's leading climate research universities

Wind turbines at sunset. March 2020

We are a founding member of the International Universities Climate Alliance, which launched today (Thursday 2 April).

Initiated by the University of New South Wales, Sydney, the Climate Alliance involves 40 of the world’s leading climate research universities, from countries including Brazil, China, Fiji, Ghana, Kenya, Netherlands, Singapore, the UK and USA.

Alliance members will work together to identify the most effective ways to communicate research-based facts related to climate change to the public.

Members will engage in work across climate change science, impact, mitigation strategies and adaptation, with Leeds planning to take a leading role sharing knowledge for net-zero and climate resilient solutions across the network.

Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, said: “Tackling the climate crisis requires global cooperation on an unprecedented scale.

“The alliance can deliver this by sharing best practice across universities, providing a coordinated evidence base to inform urgent decisions, and training a new generation of innovative researchers to deliver net-zero on our campuses and around the world.”

Sir Alan Langalnds outside the Great Hal. March 2020Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands has welcomed the formation of the alliance.

Notwithstanding current urgencies around the coronavirus pandemic, members decided not to delay formation of the Alliance due to the pressing and ongoing need to accelerate climate action.

Professor Piers Forster, Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate, 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, Director of Sustainability at Leeds, said: “Here at Leeds, we are committed to tackling the climate crisis head on; through changes we are making to our campus operations, our research expertise, the way we interact with the world and through our curriculum across the board.

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

See the International Universities Climate Alliance website for further information.

Leeds’ part in this alliance highlights our commitment to tackling climate change, as outlined in our seven principles for action on the climate crisis.

The principles include a drive to secure a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030, and moves to reorient our research and teaching away from the fossil fuel sector.


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