All students should become familiar with the challenges of climate change and issues of sustainability during their degrees. This is one of the goals that 45 university management teams from 27 countries agreed upon at the Global University Leaders Council Hamburg (GUC). At the forum that takes place every two years and is a joint initiative of the German Rectors’ Conference, the Körber-Stiftung and the Universität Hamburg, university management teams discussed global challenges of international university systems. The topic of this year’s meeting was the contribution that universities make in the fight against climate change and to more sustainability in society.
Global Solidarity Demanded for Climate Protection
In their declaration, the management teams obligate their institutions to a comprehensive addressing of climate protection and sustainability measures. They also point out the significance of solidarity: Despite scientific competition, as well as in some cases competing national priorities, the goal is to strengthen the opportunities for joint action at the institutions.
“Universities across the world hold a central position in supporting the management of climate change effects,” explains the HRK President, Professor Peter-André Alt, and summarizes the GUC. “They influence the actions of tomorrow’s society by addressing the topics of environmental protection and sustainability, which have been especially demanded by the younger generation, and by making such topics the basis of their actions.” Thus, the GUC participants asked for the integration of environmental protection and sustainability issues in the curricula of all degree courses, amongst other things.
University of Bremen Frontrunner in Climate and Environmental Research
The President of the university also sees the integration of the topics climate protection and sustainability in degrees as an important and logical next step “The University of Bremen is one of the leading universities in climate and environmental research across the world,” emphasizes Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter. “Our scientists carry our research in renowned interdisciplinary networks. They also pass their knowledge on to students who are able to study the climate in several degree courses, as part of European exchange classes, and with digital learning resources. As a climate university, we are already contributing to the international networking of climate protection in research and teaching. However, we must push our measures further!”
Hamburg Declaration “Facing the Grand Challenges of Climate Change and Sustainability” (English, PDF, 4 pages)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Scholz-Reiter
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-60011
Email: rektorprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de