Community supports action on climate change
Making Queen’s carbon neutral by 2050 received support from many participants at a recent community forum.
“The input so far indicates that staff, faculty and students want Queen’s to be a leader among Canadian universities in mitigating the emission of greenhouse gases and advancing climate change research and education,” says Aaron Ball, Sustainability Manager.
At the community forum, participants offered their feedback on several themes including carbon targets. Carbon neutrality by 2050 received the most votes in a poll of participants. Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change (QBACC) submitted a petition signed by 742 students in favour of the target.
Participants supported implementing climate change actions in the near term versus the long term. They also indicated their preference for using internal reductions to achieve greenhouse gas mitigation goals over purchasing carbon offsets.
When asked about the most important criteria for evaluating the greenhouse gas mitigation options, participants ranked “reduction potential” the highest followed by the “timeframe to implement.” In the area of integrating climate change into academic research and curriculum, awareness campaigns had the most votes followed by the creation of a research centre in the field.
A survey will be distributed in the middle of May asking faculty, staff and students to rank the options for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and ideas for integrating climate change into research and curriculum. An advisory committee of faculty, staff and students will use the input to draft a climate action plan (CAP) for the university.
A draft of the CAP will be presented at a community forum in September.