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Source: University of Waikato

The University of Waikato has joined the newly established International Universities Climate Alliance – a union intended to help communicate research insights on the most effective means of addressing the global challenge of climate change.

Facilitated by the University of New South Wales Sydney (UNSW Sydney), 40 of the world’s leading climate research universities have been invited to join the Alliance to date.

As part of the Alliance, Waikato University will work together with other members to identify the most effective ways of communicating research-based facts related to climate change to the public and political leaders.

The Climate Alliance will benefit from a multi-disciplinary research focus around the most important research themes to ensure better engagement with policymakers, educators and business leaders who are looking to apply the latest research findings, and combat the effects of climate change.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley.

“The University of Waikato is proud to be one of the universities leading the way in taking urgent action on climate change on the global stage; considered to be one of the most important issues of our time,” says Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waikato, Professor Neil Quigley.

“As a University, we are committed to creating and disseminating knowledge that will contribute to a sustainable future. We hope that this new platform will be an effective way to achieve this,” he says.

A charter for the Alliance is in development, and a series of meetings are planned to co-ordinate activities of members, working around the COVID-19 situation the world is currently facing.

Professor of Environmental Planning at the University of Waikato, Iain White, will be the University’s representative in the Climate Alliance.

“There is an unwritten social contract between universities and society that, in exchange for public investment, we generate knowledge to help understand the world and improve society,” he says.

“This initiative will help us do that with one of the most pressing issues facing the world today – climate change.”

Professor Iain White.

The University of Waikato is involved in several research projects that will contribute to the body of knowledge on the issue, including looking at how prepared Aotearoa’s tourism sector is for the coming impact, how prepared New Zealand’s water infrastructure is to the effects of climate change and how to draw attention to the role indigenous knowledge can have in fighting climate change.

Professors Vic Arcus and Louis Schipper’s forthcoming Marsden-funded project is aiming to tackle one of the biggest challenges in interdisciplinary science; how to predict the behaviour of biological systems and their responses to increasing greenhouse gases and climate warming.

As well as the UNSW Sydney, other member universities from around the world include the University of Manchester, California Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Kings College London and the National University of Singapore.