University Teachers’ Union Promotes Climate Action on Campus

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Climate Change on Campus cover


“Academic staff have a special responsibility and a unique opportunity to combat climate change,” declares a new leaflet directed toward University professors produced by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), a partner institution of the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change (ACW) project.

The leaflet, entitled “Confronting Climate Change on Campus,” was created in response to growing awareness and concern about climate change among CAUT members, and a desire to collaborate on the issue, said Pam Foster, Director of Research and Political Action for the association.

It presents a three-step plan of practical action to be followed by academic staff associations and researchers across Canada:

  1. Reduce the carbon footprint of campuses by improving building energy conservation and promoting low-carbon transportation.
  2. Take academic action such as expanding the offering of courses dedicated to climate change and encouraging climate change research through grants and awards.
  3. Advocate for the creation of association or institutional environment committees, or work with established committees, such as collective bargaining or workplace joint health and safety, to push climate change concerns.

“Our institutions are a significant source of carbon emissions,” added Foster. “The good news is that our members have the expertise to develop and disseminate climate change solutions. Our campuses are the prime proponents of critical inquiry and evidence-based decision-making, so we are uniquely placed to lead the political transformation to a sustainable future.”