Environment, Climate & Biodiversity

Universities play a leading role in mitigating and adapting to climate change, reversing biodiversity loss, educating students, and working with communities to build a sustainable future.

Addressing climate change is central to all of our civic obligations and responsibilities, and a key method by which universities can fulfil their commitments is through the production of a Civic University Agreement.

The role of HEIs in the climate action agenda – Supporting place transition to net zero

The Network’s current project , developed in partnership with the Institute of Community Studies (ICS) and The UPP Foundation, aims to understand how HEIs can act as changemakers for places in the climate action agenda. We have started to bring together institutions based in places which share common challenges in net zero transition, to share good and innovative practice, to identify gaps where more action is needed, and to think about how we can work collaboratively to accelerate the progress needed to meet or exceed net zero targets.

The resulting learnings have been included in our new report: The role of HEIs in the climate action agenda. Supporting place and communities in a just transition to net zero, which you can download here and watch the launch event on demand below.

Further workshops and collaborative forums will be held to build a collaborative and usable framework for how universities can support place transition to net zero. This will involve stakeholders from inside and outside the Higher Education Sector all seeking to tackle the net zero challenge.

The role of universities in addressing the climate emergency

Many universities are already embracing ambitious net zero and climate action targets, but how exactly are they planning to realise these ambitions?

Our report, “Connecting Climate: How Civic University Agreements can be used to prioritise the climate action agenda”, captures some of the emerging trends and approaches of universities who are using their CUAs for this purpose.

In addition, the report shows how universities can utilise the Civic Impact Framework to develop and deliver their climate ambitions, and sets out the Civic University Network’s commitments to its members going forward.

Civic Impact Framework

The Civic University Network team has developed a Civic Impact Framework which aims to enable universities to engage in conversations with colleagues and partners about what a truly civic university might look like and what the journey might involve.

Environment, Climate & Biodiversity is one of the seven domains and key questions are:

  • How could our university play a leading role in mitigating and adapting to climate change, reversing biodiversity loss, and educating students for sustainability?
  • How will it influence environmental behaviours throughout our city and region?

Previous events

Recordings of previous events related to Environment, Climate & Biodiversity, alongside associated resources can be found below.

14th November 2022 – University Climate Action: negotiating and implementing a shared vision

Additional webinar resources