The University of Edinburgh is among the founding members of a drive to attempt to tackle the biggest threats posed by climate change on the planet.
Researchers from the University have joined with 40 leading climate research universities to form the International Universities Climate Alliance, bringing together thousands of experts to share knowledge and better inform decisions made by government, businesses and members of the public.
The organisation will do this by presenting evidence-based information on climate research and its impacts, that is regionally focused as well as globally informed.
Members of the Climate Alliance will work together to make their collective knowledge available at all levels, from local communities to world leaders.
The alliance was formed on 2 April 2020, facilitated by UNSW Sydney to “help communicate research insights on the most effective means to meet the unprecedented global challenge of climate change.”
UNSW Sydney’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs created the Climate Alliance because of the vital role universities play in science and solutions to the climate emergency, saying: “This new Alliance will be at the forefront of the international conversation around addressing climate change.”
Projects and initiatives include working with the City of Edinburgh Council to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, researching Carbon Capture and Storage to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and analysing changes in global rainfall and patterns of extreme weather that devastate the lives of millions.
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Professor Sandy Tudhope, Lead on Climate Responsibility and Sustainability, the University of Edinburgh, commented on the importance of such an alliance: “The Covid-19 crisis demonstrates the necessity for the world to unite and pool its knowledge when tackling global threats.
“Sharing scientific insights and key research findings on climate change will enable key decision and policy-makers to do so based on sound evidence.
“The global reaction to climate change has been far too slow. We believe the Alliance can help accelerate that response.”
The climate has benefited greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the world’s industry effectively shut down. Animals have been seen roaming cities, and emissions in China have reduced by a quarter.
Even so, the climate emergency will likely continue once worldwide industry ramps back up after the lockdown, with a recent report claiming that future projections indicate a “potentially catastrophic loss of global biodiversity is on the horizon”.