University and College Presidents' Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada

We, the undersigned university and college presidents, are concerned about global climate change and its potential for adverse health, social, economic and ecological effects. We recognize our responsibility to advance knowledge for society and our obligation to demonstrate leadership in areas of community, national and global importance. We believe universities and colleges can fulfill these expectations by sharing knowledge, research and best practices about climate change with our students and the public.

We are proud of our record on climate action to date, but we must do more to accelerate our impact. Accordingly, our institutions will pursue responsible solutions to address the climate change challenge. Therefore, we commit to the following actions:

  • We will exercise leadership by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in collaboration with our communities.
  • We will develop measurable targets using research and science.
  • We will develop achievable and practical plans to achieve reduction targets.
  • We will put in place rigorous assessment and measurement procedures.
  • We will fully disclose and be accountable for our actions.

In pursuit of these actions, each institution will:

  1. Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gases by creating a planning body that includes students, staff, faculty, researchers, administrators and other partners to set emission reduction targets in accordance with each institution's jurisdiction.
  2. Within one year of signing this document, complete a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions on each campus.
  3. Within two years of signing this document, set targets and develop an institutional climate action plan that engages each institution's research, education and operations into a comprehensive strategy that catalyzes solutions for climate change.
  4. While the comprehensive plan is being created, immediately implement selected tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  5. Make action plans, inventories and periodic progress reports publicly available for review and comment.
  6. Work cooperatively with governments, civil society, the business community and other institutions of higher learning to contribute to global climate change actions in recognition of our responsibility for equitable solutions.

In recognition of the importance of climate change to all Canadians, indeed to all the inhabitants of the earth, the undersigned Presidents will encourage universities, colleges and other post-secondary institutions to become signatories to this or similar climate change commitments.

Creators and original signatories

Stephen Toope, President
University of  British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia

Michael Stevenson, President
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia

David Turpin, President
University of  Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia

Don Cozzetto, President
University of  Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia

Roger Barnsley, President
Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia

Allan Cahoon, President
Royal Roads University, Victoria, British Columbia

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