SDG 13| Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Climate change is a crisis that affects us all, and CUHK does its best to mitigate the impact of climate change.  CUHK was the first local university to pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2038.  We actively organize education programmes for the general public to promote the importance of sustainability.  CUHK also seeks to become an agent of positive change in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to climate change both in Hong Kong and elsewhere.

Curriculum

11 related courses were offered in the 2021–22 academic year.

Policies

In accordance with the Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Policy, CUHK pursues climate action and has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2038.

The University’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Policy and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Guidelines are designed to encourage campus users to use energy more efficiently and minimize the consumption of electricity generated from fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas).

The University hosts a large number of events each year, both on or off its campus.  Thoughtful event planning can help to reduce their harmful effects on the environment.  The University’s Guidelines for Sustainable Event Planning and Management and Guidelines for Organizing Sustainable Orientation Activities are designed to help all its members to incorporate environmental considerations into their event planning.

The University’s Waste Management Policy and Waste Management Guidelines require units to establish waste management procedures that reduce their impact on the environment, and require them to demonstrate continual improvement in their waste management performance.

Research

A collaborative study by CUHK and the University of Exeter found that shifting to a less meat-intensive diet could decrease agricultural ammonia emissions by about 20% and particulate matter by up to 6 micrograms per cubic metre, and avoid 75,000 annual premature deaths related to air pollution in China.  This was the first study to analyse in detail how air pollution might be mitigated by adopting a more plant-based diet, and its findings were published in the prestigious journal Nature Food.

Commitment to carbon neutrality

As a socially-responsible university, CUHK attaches great significance to combating climate change and is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2038.  To pursue climate action, CUHK adopts energy efficiency strategies by using more efficient lighting and cooling systems, renewable energy and new technologies.  Around 200 energy wardens have been appointed in the university’s various offices and units.  They play an important role in reviewing energy consumption, identifying energy-saving opportunities, and promoting and implementing energy conservation in their units.

Local education programmes on climate change

The Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change (MoCC) was established in December 2013 at CUHK.  It was the first museum of its kind in the world, offering an interactive, multimedia exhibition that showcases valuable collections and information about climate change.  It is the ideal venue for the public, especially students and teachers, to champion the cause of environmental stewardship and keep themselves abreast of the latest developments in environmental conservation and sustainability.  The museum’s activities include an eco-tour of the prime ecological sites and green facilities on the CUHK campus, and it also offers a variety of workshops and activities that promote green living.  The museum offers free admission to the public and trains young green leaders to become advocates of climate action in Hong Kong.

Examples of the museum’s educational activities in 2021 include the virtual Green Family Fair, the ‘Green Museums and the Paris Agreement’ forum under the SDG Forum Series and the ‘Decade of Change’ exhibition.  The MoCC Ambassadorship, one of the museum’s flagship programmes, also received a merit award in the SDG Achievement Awards Hong Kong 2021.

Geo-guy, funded by the Sustainable Development Goals Action Fund, is a student-initiated project to promote geoscience and raise environmental awareness in Hong Kong.  The project team encourages the general public, especially younger people, to take part in workshops and field trips which introduce the basic concept of geology, and produces video clips about the geological features in Hong Kong.  This project received the team award in the Leung Hung Kee General Education Scholarship for Sustainable Development Goals 2020–21.

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