Working together on climate action

Working together on climate action

The university brought together experts and community leaders for a forum on climate change.

October 7, 2019


Ideas about sustainability and climate change permeated Mitchell Hall on Thursday, Oct. 3 as Queen's University hosted the Queen’s UC3 Forum. The event brought together experts and community members for a daylong discussion of climate change and the university’s role in protecting the environment. The forum is part of Queen’s membership in the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3).

The day kicked off with welcoming remarks from Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane, Mayor of Kingston Bryan Paterson, and Mark Green, Vice Dean (Graduate Studies and Recruitment) in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, who spoke in his capacity as a member of the Mohawk community. This series of opening remarks set the tone for the event, as the forum would go on to bring together a variety of perspectives from both Queen’s and the broader community.

“Climate change is one of the greatest challenges our society will face and requires us to work with our community and academic partners to find creative solutions,” says Principal Deane. “Events like the UC3 Forum are integral to helping us foster connections and provide opportunities to share knowledge and resources, inspiring us to build a better future together.”

Through a series of presentations and panels, speakers at the forum drew on their personal experiences and professional expertise to discuss many different aspects of climate action. For instance, Mike Gerbis, CEO of The Delphi Group and GLOBE Series, spoke about his career journey and the ways in which he has applied his education to the fight against climate change. And John Robinson, Professor in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and in the School of Environment at the University of Toronto, addressed the ways in which universities can be agents of change during the climate crisis. 

During the afternoon, leaders from across the Kingston area came together for a panel on community partnerships for sustainability. Moderated by City Councillor Bridget Doherty, the panel featured Paul MacLatchy, Environmental Director, Real Estate and Environmental Initiatives for the City of Kingston; Kristin Mullin, Executive Director, Sustainable Kingston; Warren Mabee, Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s; Nathan Manion, Principal Investigator at the Sustainable Energy Applied Research Centre (SEARC) at St. Lawrence College; and R. Donald Maracle, Chief for the Mohawks of Bay of Quinte. The discussion of the panelists highlighted the fact that collaboration is essential for meaningful climate action in the Kingston area.

Throughout the day, speakers engaged with audience participants in lively discussions about sustainability during Q&A sessions. Even though the forum is over, there are still opportunities for members of the campus community to have their thoughts on climate change and sustainability heard. If you have an idea on how to make Queen’s more environmentally friendly, you can submit your idea to the Office of the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) through the Your Sustainable Idea page.