BC University Presidents Sign Climate Action Statement

Victoria, BC – University presidents from across British Columbia have signed a Climate Change Statement of Action committing their institutions to a leadership role in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

“It is important, as institutions of higher learning and research, that we lead by example in addressing the challenges of climate change”, said University of British Columbia President Professor Stephen Toope. “Our actions will also help Premier Campbell achieve the ambitious targets he has set for the Province.”

The statement of action commits each university to initiate a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gases by creating a planning body that includes students, staff, researchers, administrators and other partners. Within one year, each institution will have a complete inventory of greenhouse gas emissions on campus and within two years, targets will be set and strategies in place to achieve the targets. All action plans, inventories and progress reports will be made publicly available for review and comment.

University of Northern British Columbia President Dr. Don Cozzetto said, “The Mountain Pine Beetle infestation in the Province is clear evidence of the impacts of climate change.  It is devastating and clearly requires each and every citizen to do their part and change their behavior.  I willingly commit my institution to do its part.”

“In January Premier Campbell expressed his confidence in BC’s four research universities by making a significant investment in our leading edge environmental research”, said University of Victoria President Dr. David Turpin. “This investment in the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions together with the sustainability initiatives already underway on our campuses and our future efforts coming out of the statement of action will make a real difference.”

“I would like to commend BC’s university presidents for their leadership in encouraging the development of a better overall understanding of global climate change challenges said Premier Gordon Campbell. “This commitment to creating and implementing an effective and comprehensive Action Plan will go along way in making a real difference and in helping us meet our targets.”

BC’s university presidents will be inviting other post secondary institutions across British Columbia and Canada to join them in signing the Statement of Action.

For more information, see The University Presidents’ Council of B.C. Climate Action Statement (PDF).

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