University Of Edinburgh: Signing Climate Compact Puts Science At Heart Of Climate Action

Wed, 01/20/2021 - 00:00

The University of Edinburgh is deeply concerned by the climate crisis.

As a global leader in climate change research we provide some of the expertise needed to help understand, adapt to and prevent the varied effects of global heating and the many issues it intersects with.

We work in partnership with communities, organisations and governments to ensure this knowledge forms the bedrock of decision-making at all levels of society.

We are helping to make a positive difference locally and globally in several distinct but interconnected ways: via our research and its influence on policy and practice; our own operations, which will be carbon neutral by 2040; and through our excellence in teaching the generations of today and tomorrow.

Working together towards a common goal

As a co-sponsor of the Edinburgh Climate Commission – part of the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) – we were motivated to become a founding signatory of the Edinburgh Climate Compact to ensure that science-based strategies and targets are efficiently translated into tangible action on the ground.

The city of Edinburgh’s success in making a green recovery from Covid-19 and transitioning to a low-carbon economy is dependent on cooperation between hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals working toward a common goal.

We expect the Compact to facilitate this and we have stepped up to lead the way by providing independent, expert advice. We also expect to learn from the other signatories who are key players in different sectors, and together we will motivate and inspire each other as well as hold ourselves to account.

Ensuring science is at heart of climate action

Climate action brings many benefits besides environmental: we have an opportunity to improve healthcare, social care, housing, transport and the economy as a whole. This compact will show how scientific research can lead to stretching targets and genuine impact at a local level.

As an anchor institution, we have a progressive climate change strategy that covers every aspect of our organisation, from decarbonising our operations to greening our investments and inspiring our students and staff to adopt more sustainable behaviours.

We encourage other local organisations and employers to accelerate their efforts to contribute locally – and globally - to a green recovery and a net zero emissions Edinburgh.