May 10, 2021 - The Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC) Executive Committee and the Academic Committee meeting was held online. Representatives of GAUC’s member universities from nine countries on six continents gathered virtually with practical discussions on the future development strategy and working mechanism of the alliance along with other topics. Professor Yang Bin, Provost and Vice President of Tsinghua University, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of GAUC, and Professor Nicholas Stern, from London School of Political Science and Economics, Chairman of the Academic Committee of GAUC, each gave their addresses. The conference was chaired by Professor Li Zheng, Executive Vice President of the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development (ICCSD) at Tsinghua University, and Secretary General of GAUC.
Picture | GAUC Executive Committee and the Academic Committee Meeting
Professor YANG Bin first expressed his gratitude to the alliance for their continuous efforts in tackling climate change. Most notably, the series of actions taken despite the outbreak of COVID-19. Professor Yang stressed the crucial importance of universities’ commitment in addressing climate change, climate change cannot afford to stop regardless of what humanity is facing, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to be held in Glasgow is of great importance for the survival of humanity. Yang Bin pointed out that the universities around the world are eager to tackle climate change together, he hopes that GAUC would take leadership in guiding other universities in the march, working together to achieve global carbon neutrality.
Picture | Map of GAUC Member Universities (15 members across 9 countries on 6 continents as of May 2021)
Professor Nicholas Stern believes humans are faced with an important challenge in human history, continuous investment in innovation is required in the post-pandemic recovery, embarking on a new and sustainable development path. He argues GAUC demonstrates the best case studies in higher education insitutions globally in meeting the challenges of humanity, jointly promoting innovative research from a practical perspective, instead of being restricted to academic analysis. Stern highlighted the advantages of the GAUC’s small but refined membership model, which can truly put climate change at the core of decisions and play a pragmatic and effective role in the climate march.
Subsequently, Zhang Jian, Deputy Secretary General of GAUC Secretariat, and Wang Binbin, Executive Secretary General, presented review and overview of the alliance’s work to the committee respectively.
Zhang Jian conducted a comprehensive review of the development history of GAUC, and presented the alliance’s work in 2020, with powerful actions and far-reaching influence, and highlighted the important ideas and values that GAUC’s members have developed in close collaboration.
Picture | GAUC milestone since inception has exerted a profound impact on the international community
Picture | Focusing on joint research, student activities, talent cultivation, green campus, and public engagement, GAUC aims to promote exchanges and collaboration among youth around the world, and to enhance public awareness and mobilize more climate actions by working with various stakeholders
Based on the opportunities and challenges facing GAUC, Dr. Wang Binbin analyzed the development strategy of the Alliance from multiple dimensions, emphasized the important value of the Alliance in incubating innovative solutions to climate change, and proposed specific ideas for future development.
Picture | GAUC provides policy and action support for the upcoming COP26
Committee members from the member universities then carried out pragmatic sharing and ideation, identifying key directions, such as strengthening creative collaboration with universities and countries around the world, boosting student education and talent cultivation, promoting campus decarbonization and other actions, and reinforcing public engagement and implementation, and reached a basic consensus on relevant actions and measures.
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