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Sustainable Development Goals

Climate Action

We are pleased to have been recognised for our contributions towards achieving SDG 13, Climate Action, ranked 8th in the world, and 1st in Europe for our impact. 

Climate change threatens our population with increased flooding, extreme heat, food and water scarcity, more disease, and economic loss. Avoiding dangerous climate change is the central goal of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Research by Professor Tim Lenton and colleagues has identified how the risks posed by climate tipping points increase with global warming. The vast influence of this research has impacted:

  • Public policy both nationally and internationally by providing vital evidence underpinning goals to limit global warming
  • Production of a paper identified as the ‘most impactful’ climate research paper of 2018
  • Citing in policy responses to the 2015 Paris Agreement goal

In the UK, the University led on a detailed CCRA3 Technical Report with the Climate Change Committee (CCC), collating the latest evidence of the risk climate change poses to the UK including communities, health, ecosystems, infrastructure and businesses. More globally, our open access tool, ReefBudget, has been adopted by multiple national conservation and management organisations to enable coral reef conservation.

After declaring an environment and climate emergency in 2019, the University set out a plan to reach net zero by 2030. So far we have:

  • Launched The Exeter Living Lab helping people use systems tools to co-design solutions for a greener, fairer recovery from Covid-19 in line with Exeter’s Net Zero plan
  • Produced a white paper setting out recommendations for achieving our goals
  • Achieved low carbon energy use with 100% of all University owned electricity consumption in 2020/21 REGO certified (renewable)
  • Formed Civic University agreements to deliver a Net Zero Exeter
  • Played a key role in the Devon Net Zero Task Force developing an action plan for the region to achieve net zero