Swinburne University of Technology has become the first university in Victoria to sign the Global Climate Emergency Letter in recognition of the need for a drastic societal shift to combat the growing threat of climate change.
The university has joined more than 7,000 networks and institutes around the world that have declared a climate emergency.
In signing the declaration letter, Swinburne agrees to further demonstrate that the university is serious about its commitments to sustainability and to continue the conversation around sustainability.
In June 2018, Swinburne became a signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Since then the university has undertaken energy conservation initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint.
Last December, Swinburne announced it would enhance its existing sustainability initiatives and act urgently to:
- commit to 100 per cent renewable energy procurement by 31 July 2020 and to be carbon neutral by 2025
- invest in relevant research and engagement focused on sustainability
- provide courses relevant to the environment and sustainability across curricula, campus and community programs
“At Swinburne, commitment to sustainability remains one of our core values,” Professor Kristjanson said. “It is embedded across our university and our daily operations, as we seek ways to accelerate our efforts, goals and actions to arrest climate change.
“We recognise and acknowledge the growing scientific consensus that global temperatures are rising. Our professoriate has stated that the most recent scientific evidence shows we are already in a climate emergency.”
Swinburne was one of the first universities in Australia to implement a Responsible Investment Charter, which ensures environmental and social impacts are taken into account in the university’s investment choices.