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Global university carbon neutrality alliance launched

Two institutions based in the UK and China have joined forces to establish a global university alliance to lead the fight against climate change.

An online event was the setting for the newly formed World Alliance of Universities on Carbon Neutrality, led by the University of Birmingham and China’s Southeast University. Photo: University of Birmingham

The event announcing WAUCN came just days before the beginning of COP26

The newly formed World Alliance of Universities on Carbon Neutrality was led by the UK’s University of Birmingham and China’s Southeast University in Nanjing.

The alliance is labelled as a “worldwide partnerships with research strengths” in the climate field.

Some 15 top Chinese universities have agreed to be involved in the partnership, with Shanghai Jiao Tong, Zhejiang University and University of Science & Technology of China all signing on.

A further 13 universities from around the world have also joined WAUCN, such as Monash University in Australia, Imperial College London in the UK and the National University of Singapore.

Leaders of both Birmingham and Southeast, David Eastwood and Zhang Guangjun respectively, welcomed over 80 representatives from universities on board.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face,” said Eastwood.

“Science and innovation are crucial to achieving and sustain carbon neutrality…we believe that a worldwide universities alliance will constitute a key addition to the rapidly growing coalition for net-zero emission and carbon neutrality.”

Guangjun was also keen to communicate the urgency of the matter.

“Mankind has only one earth and we must build a home where man and nature can coexist harmoniously.

“I hope that member universities face the future with a long-term vision, mutual trust and communication, and substantive results to benefit academics and students around the world,” Guangjun said.

“The foundation of this international alliance is a great example of global co-operation”

The event announcing WAUCN came just days before the beginning of COP26, which is now underway in the city of Glasgow.

“On the eve of COP26…the foundation of this international alliance with partners from China and beyond is a great example of global co-operation,” said Jon Frampton, deputy pro vice chancellor (China) at Birmingham.

Birmingham and Southeast have been working partnership “for some years” to create sustainable energy solutions.

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