A wind farm in a rural landscape

New centre aims to be part of the solution to climate crisis

Earlier this year UofG established the Centre for Sustainable Solutions to respond to the climate emergency and enhance the growing ambition for the University and its community to be part of the solution.

Professor Jaime Toney is the director of the new centre. She is an expert in the science behind climate change, specifically in understanding how recent climate, environmental and ecosystem changes differ to those that the Earth has experienced in the past. “The centre demonstrates our commitment to playing an active role in preventing the Earth’s temperature rising above the 1.5˚C threshold defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” she says.

"The climate emergency is the most urgent, complex and life-threatening issue of our time.

Jaime recognises that collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches are needed at all levels to make a transition to a sustainable future. “There are social, cultural and geopolitical complexities related to the climate emergency. The only way to manage these challenges is for multiple sectors and disciplines to come together to reduce our reliance on carbon and to support the social implications of that.

“Behaviour, choices and systems must be addressed to enable change, innovation and sustainability. The centre is dedicated to undertaking activities that will enable individuals, communities and organisations to act towards a sustainable future through education, research and partnership.”

In education, the centre is using UofG’s academic expertise to educate the next generation of climate- and carbon-literate students who are capable of critically engaging with climate and carbon challenges. We are creating bespoke courses that are accessible to all staff and students. We are aligning our work with wider partner initiatives, such as those of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society who have created climate solutions modules for business management, and Education Scotland who are developing primary and secondary education policy in this area. We aim to ensure a common message, language and understanding of the challenges we face and choices that will lead to solutions.

This article was first published September 2020.