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Universities demand closer cooperation to stop climate change

Universities challenge ministers in COP21 to acknowledge the role of research and education in stopping climate change.

More than 6 000 universities and higher education institutions have through their networks signed an appeal that will be discussed in the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 in Paris in December. Also Nordic Sustainable Campus Network (NSCN), founded and coordinated by Aalto University, has participated in drawing up the letter.

– Climate change and sustainable development should be integrated in more depth in research, education and quality systems of universities. Universities and research have an extremely central role in decision-making and also in the education of future decision makers, says Meri Löyttyniemi, Chair of NSCN from Aalto University. 

She wants to encourage not only decision-makers but also all NSCN member universities to act more noticeably to curb the climate crisis.

– The challenge is a global one, but solutions will also have to be made on local level. Universities, together with their stakeholder groups, must act as forerunners in the change, states Löyttyniemi.

The open letter will be handed to the General Secretary of the conference in the Higher Education for Climate Change event organised in Paris on Wednesday.

– For the first time, we bring the voice of the world's leading sustainable university networks to a shared forum. By challenging ourselves and the organisations behind us we want to encourage decision-makers across the world to make bold decisions in Paris. To be able to slow down global warming, those decisions must be made urgently.

More information:

Appeal by Global Alliance network to ministers in COP21 conference
Nordic Sustainable Campus Network

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