Acting Together for Net-Zero
The role of research organisations
On 3 November 2022, CESAER, European University Association (EUA), the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), Science Europe, the Network of Universities from Capital Cities (UNICA), and the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK), jointly organised the COP27 lead-up event on “Interdisciplinarity for the Net-Zero Transition”. This Symposium came about following the Call to Action to Research and Higher Education Organisations for the Net-Zero Transition launched at the COP26 held in Glasgow in 2021.
The partners aim to enhance the contributions of universities, research funding and performing organisations, as well as the entire research and higher education ecosystem, towards achieving global emission reduction targets. Their common goal is to adopt a collaborative, systems-based approach, where research and education systems join forces with industry and society to tackle this critical societal challenge. This initiative is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: "Climate Action: take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts."
The Call to Action urges universities and research funding and performing organizations to evaluate how they can collectively elevate their actions and aspirations concerning climate actions.
Six key areas for the Net-Zero Transition were identified as follows:
- Responding to the complexity of the Net-Zero challenges by addressing them in an interdisciplinary way.
- Developing the next generation of students and researchers for the Net-Zero Transition.
- Reducing our own organisational carbon footprint.
- Supporting the Net-Zero Transition in policymaking at all levels.
- Improving the shared understanding of what needs to be done.
- Facing the challenges together.
With this spirit, the European Federation of Academies of Science and Humanities (ALLEA) and the European Sustainable Laboratories Network (SELS-Network) were invited to a conversation on how the research and academic systems can work together for the Net-Zero Transition.
The Call to Action is framed around a vision based on systems thinking integrating with different research and higher education actors: only by acting together, we can address the climate crisis. Based on this vision, the promoting organisations call on other partners in the research and higher education communities to mobilise to achieve Net-Zero Transition.
Goals and Themes
The goal of this webinar was to:
- Present the joint report ‘Interdisciplinarity for the Net-Zero Transition. The perspectives of universities and research organisations.’
- Present contributions of other networks to sustainability.
- Discuss possible joint actions for research organisations for the Net-Zero Transition.