The University of Connecticut recently joined 17 other North American universities to form the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), an alliance aiming to combat climate change.
“The University Climate Change Coalition… is a bold new coalition of 18 leading North American research universities that will prototype a collaborative model designed to help local communities achieve their climate goals and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future,” UC3’s website said.
The universities located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico that make up UC3 have committed to mobilizing their resources and expertise to accelerate local and regional climate action in partnership with businesses, cities and states, according to the website.
“UC3 provides thought leadership on and fosters a robust exchange of best practices and lessons learned in pursuit of reducing greenhouse emissions and building community resilience,” the website said. “They share this knowledge with fellow coalition members, the higher education sector, their communities and partners in the public and private sectors by serving as models for climate solutions and re-examining the scientific community’s research agenda to accelerate place-based climate action.”
UConn’s primary commitment as a member of UC3 is that in 2019, it must host a forum for public entities, state and local governments and other stakeholders to discuss how UConn’s breadth of research can and does support real solutions to climate change, said Rich Miller, Director of UConn’s Office of Environmental Policy.
“Research faculty members, communications managers, environmental policy directors like me and even university presidents will each be meeting and talking with their respective peers about these climate change issues on a regular basis,” Miller said. “I can foresee many worthwhile partnerships and grant opportunities coming out of that aspect of UC3.”
Miller called UC3 a “tremendous opportunity” for UConn to collaborate with prestigious public research universities in North America to accelerate carbon reduction and climate change resilience strategies.
UConn geography professor Anji Seth said the university has a number of roles to play as a member of UC3 because it is a generator of new and relevant knowledge that can address the problems caused by the changing climate.
“The purpose of the UC3 coalition is to accelerate the transfer of new knowledge among academics, government, businesses and communities,” Seth said. “As researchers (at UConn) we are engaged in our communities, at the state level and regionally as partners to work on local solutions.”
Miller said universities play a large role in understanding and addressing climate change and noted that UC3 can help the United States achieve net zero carbon emissions before 2050.
“The purpose of UC3 coalition is to accelerate the transfer of new knowledge among academics, government, businesses and communities,” Miller said “In this way we can create a demand-driven climate research agenda that meets the needs of our region so that we can scale up to meet the global goals set in Paris in 2015.”
Gabriella Debenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.