The European School of Sustainability and Research (ESSSR) and Inter-University Sustainable Develolpment Research Programme (IUSDRP) are the European and world´s largest networks of universities undertaking research on matters related to sustainable development, respectively. The efforts by ESSSR and IUSDRP members have so far led to the publications of over 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and in excess of 50 books. They have also mobilised substantial project funding, working in programmes such as Horizon Europe, Erasmus+, DAAD, Interreg, and by liaising with various national and international agencies financing sustainability and climate change research.
As you are aware, climate change is one of the major challenges of modern times. There is a perceived need to intensify the dialogue on the one hand, but also to implement concrete initiatives on the other, to better understand and handle the impacts of universities on climate change. Some literature on the topic includes:
Based on the perceived need for concerted action in this field, ESSSR & IUSDRP are starting the "Universities and Climate Change Initiative" (UCCI). The first stage of UCCI will run from from September 2022 to September 2025. During this time, UCCI will undertake a set of research projects, perform studies leading to publications (books, journals) and organise specialist events round the world, focusing on the nexus "universities and climate change" and its many ramifications.
The combined memberships of ESSSR, IUSDRP complemented by members of the German Consortium on Sustainability Research (DEKONA) and the UK Consortium on Sustainability Research (UK-CSR) means that well over 250 universities from all geographical regions are involved. A first study, the World Study on Food Waste at Universities (WS-FWU), looking at food waste at universities, has just started and the data collection is available at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfxSOaz2uj9AeB7SHGr_yfP9oMEttAT-b02QGRc4PE3C5ft_A/viewform
Expressions of interest to join UCCI, consisting of a short description of the organisation, its expertise and motivation to engage on this global effort, along with the name and e-mail of a contact person, should be sent to the IUSDRP team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further details on research and publishing opportunities, as well as on the planned events, will be shared with the selected organisations.