The Climate Commitment and Call to Action—which progresses the goals of a first-of-its-kind 2017 memorandum of understanding (MOU) between a Canadian university and municipality—acknowledges the need to enhance sustainable and resilient practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt infrastructure, services, and programs for the future impacts of a changing climate.
The commitment also recognizes the action that is needed to slow, and ultimately prevent, the rise in the global average temperature and aims to facilitate the transition to a clean energy economy.
“It is clear that we must shift to a lower carbon society in order to preserve our quality of life, our economy, and our planet for future generations,” said Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark. “There are tremendous opportunities to be found through innovation and improvement of our systems. This will take hard work and leadership across all sectors of society, and the future of the university and the city are intertwined in this work.”
The pledge to improve and accelerate equitable climate performance includes areas in collaboration; reconciliation, decolonization and Indigenization; equity, diversity and inclusion; buildings and energy efficiency; sustainable transportation; sustainable land use; solid waste reduction; renewable energy; water conservation; environmental protection and ecosystem stewardship; leadership; and accountability.
“As the province’s largest city and its largest post-secondary institution, we have an important and influential role to play as leaders in building awareness, leaders in the fight against climate change, and leaders in creating a culture of collaboration on campus and in the community,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff. “We must become champions of sustainability and ensure our words are matched by our actions to be the university the world needs.”
The Climate Commitment and Call to Action also invites leaders, organizations and institutions across the community to work towards similar climate goals.
While both the city and the university have their own climate action plans, this additional commitment will provide common ground between the institution and municipality in order to make way for easier collaboration.