UBC launches ambitious climate action plans

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Following UBC’s participation in the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow last month, I am pleased to announce that the Board of Governors has endorsed two ambitious Climate Action Plans (CAP 2030) for UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.

Both plans chart a course for accelerated reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. This will result in an 85% reduction at UBC Vancouver in campus operations emissions (from buildings, energy and fleet) and a 45% reduction in extended emissions (from commuting, waste, food, air travel and the construction, maintaining and demolishing of campus buildings). For UBC Okanagan, the targets are slightly different given the campus has newer buildings that emit fewer emissions. The targets for the Okanagan campus are a 65% reduction in campus operations emissions and 45% reduction in extended emissions. Together, these reductions will help UBC meet the Paris Agreement targets, with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Actions include using low-carbon energy sources to heat campus buildings, eliminating fossil fuel systems and equipment in buildings, transitioning to zero emission vehicles and equipment, implementing sustainable transportation initiatives through the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan Transportation Plans, continuing to advocate for SkyTrain to UBC Vancouver, expanding climate-friendly food offerings and exploring opportunities to reduce air travel emissions between UBC campuses.

These ambitious plans are the result of extensive community engagement, with input from students, faculty and staff across both campuses and continued engagement with the Musqueam. UBC recognizes that the ability to take part in sustainable actions may be constrained by lack of privilege and inequality. Addressing climate justice has been an important aspect of developing climate actions related to food systems, commuting and business air travel to ensure an equitable approach towards reducing emissions.

Thank you to all those who took the time to share your thoughts and feedback.

You can learn more about CAP 2030 and our progress:

Endorsing these plans is just the start. I encourage you to learn more about UBC’s climate action programs and get involved:https://planning.ubc.ca/sustainability/sustainability-action-plans/climate-action-plan/take-climate-action-now.

As one of the world’s leading universities, UBC continues to play a crucial role in responding to society’s key issues and leading by example. Every step we take, no matter how big or small, will help us tackle climate change together.

Thank you in advance for your support towards this crucial initiative — for both UBC and also the global community.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

This message was sent to faculty, staff and students in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

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