Sustainability Office

Sustainable Queen's
Sustainable Queen's

Climate Action

Hands holding the planet

Climate change refers to altered long-term weather patterns due to a general rise in global temperatures. The warming and weather changes can largely be associated with human activity through the pollutants emitted by burning fossil fuels. These emissions entering the atmosphere have effectively changed its composition and are preventing heat from escaping the earth's surface. The result is a rising global average temperature that has increased roughly 0.76 degrees Celsius since 1900. It is widely believed that a 2 degree Celsius rise would be a tipping point where climate change effects would be acutely and dangerously apparent with extreme weather events, record temperatures, retreating glaciers, rising sea levels and habitat loss.  Such radical change has prompted the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to consider addressing climate change one of the greatest challenges of our time.  

The environmental, economic and social norms currently enjoyed by our generation will be at ever greater risk in the absence of climate change action.  With this in mind, it becomes extremely important for universities to play a leading role, not only by addressing their own environmental footprint through greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, but by also leading the way on teaching and research that address issues of climate change beyond the campus borders.

Queen's University has been directly tracking its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 2008 and is a signatory to a national pledge committing to reduce its carbon footprint.