March 24, 2023

International climate conference comes to campus

UCalgary community working on climate invited to join the conversation April 25
warming stripes
These ‘warming stripe’ graphics are visual representations of the change in temperature as measured in each country over the past 100+ years. Ed Hawkins, National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading

Climate change is one of the most pressing and complex challenges facing contemporary society. As a research-intensive institution located in a province with deep roots in the energy industry, the University of Calgary is positioned to play a pivotal role in addressing this challenge. Collectively we have the multi-disciplinary expertise and transdisciplinary thinking capacities to elevate climate change conversations and mobilize agency toward transformative knowledge development, policy, and practices.

“The UCalgary community as a whole is engaging in the challenge,” says Dr. Marjan Eggermont, professor (teaching), mechanical and manufacturing engineering and interim associate dean sustainability in the Schulich School of Engineering.

“Every faculty has experts whose research and teaching focuses on aspects of climate change, with interdisciplinary teams and external partnerships leveraging that expertise.”

Teaching and learning innovations position students well

Innovations in teaching and learning position UCalgary graduates to participate in the global transition toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy and sustainable future, including the new Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Systems Engineering, the Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Development, and the Certificate in Sustainability Studies.

Innovative experiential learning initiatives such as the Hunter Hub Solutions Lab, Campus as a Learning Lab, and Mobilizing Alberta are expanding partnerships among students, faculty, staff, and community to advance climate action. The university, through its Climate Action Plan, has also achieved over a 35 per cent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions with innovation in green buildings written across the campus. Yet there is much more to do.

Every year, through the international Conference of the Parties (COP) and the Paris Agreement’s Meeting of the Parties (CMA), global leaders gather to advance the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The convention, which aims to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, drives environmental, economic, and social system transformation to support a low-carbon and climate resilient world. This includes societal capacity-building, the research agenda, policy directions and more. These COPs serve as an important opportunity to observe negotiations, participate in side events, and build connections.

“Even from afar, these COPs have the potential to serve as a focal point around which to organize climate change teaching and research discussions, community engagement, and new collaborations within the University of Calgary community,” explains Sharon Mascher, professor in the Faculty of Law, and UCalgary contact point for the UNFCCC. 

Social Sciences building

Solar panels were installed on UCalgary's Social Sciences building in 2023.

Sharon Mascher

Join the climate COP discussion on campus

To maximize this opportunity members of the University of Calgary engaging with climate change issues are invited to join a conversation on April 25 from 9:30 a.m. to noon to discuss how to bring the climate COP to our UCalgary campus and how we might work together on climate change all year-round.

Find out more and register

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