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SDG 13: Climate Action

Green icon with graphic of the globe in an eye to represent UNSDG Goal 13: Climate Action.

Every person, in every country will be impacted in some shape or form by climate change

Dalhousie University has been promoting sustainability in our operations and curriculum for over 30 years. However, global and local sustainability challenges such as energy security and efficiency remain, and these challenges are compounding.

High-impact research

Low emissions and economic survival — countries in the global south aren’t getting a fair deal
Green or climate-friendly investment places global south countries in an unequal position on the international energy chart. Developing countries face the dilemma of balancing fossil fuel extraction with climate-friendly investments. Read the article about acheiving climate justice in The Conversation.

Transforming Climate Action: Where the atmosphere and ocean meet
Dal researchers are putting unprecedented focus on how carbon is cycling in and out of the ocean, the world’s most important climate sink, allowing Canada to take the lead in ensuring global climate targets are on track with our environmental reality. Read the Dal News story about carbon cycle research.

'Soil is everything': Inside one Dal prof's work to understand how dirt can help humanity
Dr. Heung is transforming data into knowledge that will help a farmer or a forester or even a higher-level policy maker in terms of defining their carbon policy and climate change mitigation strategies. Read the Dal News story about this soil researcher.

Dalhousie receives historic $154‑million investment to study the ocean’s pivotal role in climate change
The Dal-led research program receiving the funding, titled Transforming Climate Action: Addressing the Missing Ocean, is set to bring an ocean-first approach to climate science, innovation and solutions. It unites more than 170 researchers across Dalhousie and its partner institutions Université du Québec à Rimouski, Université Laval and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Read the Dal News story about this ocean research investment.

Dal project awarded millions to help cities fight emissions
Data collected in the first year, currently in the Halifax Regional Municipality, will inform the framework used to gather data from the other municipalities and give researchers the opportunity to more easily estimate the amount of GHG emitted from travel patterns within Canadian municipalities. Read the Dal News story about GHG related to urban travel.

Adjusting the intensity of farming can help address climate change
Derek Lynch, professor of Agronomy and Agroecology, says we have little chance of tackling climate change and reducing biodiversity loss without a redesign of the world’s largest industry: agriculture and food. Read the Dal News story about options to redesign farming practices.

Taking climate action: Submergible buoys, dung beetles, better batteries
When a challenge is as big as climate change there are plenty of ways to investigate it. Dal researchers are learning about ocean dynamics and composition, working to understand the relationship between dung beetles and methane gas, and making breakthroughs in battery science.
Read more in Dal News

Dal researchers aim to elevate ocean’s role in fight against climate change
Without comprehensive data reporting on the dynamics and composition of the ocean, policymakers will continue to draft targets that only skim the surface. They may also overlook opportunities to harness the ocean’s power to help mitigate climate change or build equitable adaptation policies that protect people from what might be a more rapidly accelerating problem than we thought. 
Read more in Dal News

Agriculture as the great innovator: A discussion
Climate change is going to be the issue of the next 30 years, and the whole issue boils down to moving away from fossil fuels. We are at this moment where we have to take action now in order to reduce the warming of the planet. Agriculture has always been keen and open to working with researchers, because they understand the importance of the research and putting it into practice.
Read more in Dal News

Exceptional student experience

Environmental Law II ‑ Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Climate Change
This course takes an in-depth interdisciplinary look at one of our greatest global environmental challenges: climate change. Climate change is used as a case study to explore the role of law in addressing such challenges. Current law and policy approaches to climate change are considered at global, regional, national and sub-national levels.  

Environmental Science Program Student Society (EPSS)
The Environmental Science Program Student Society (EPSS) works to create networking opportunities for students in Environmental Programs, help students communicate with faculty, and organize fun and informative events promoting sustainability and environmentally-conscious behaviours.

Dal PhD student wins global research competition
Joseph Bedard, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry, won top prize in the 2023 Falling Walls Lab Pitches competition in Berlin, Germany for his presentation “Breaking the Wall of Alternative Plastics.” His approach takes the most abundant resource in the air, nitrogen, and uses it as a building block for synthetic plastics. Read the Dal News story about this prize-winning alternative plactics idea.

Epic ocean journey offers students a unique window into the climate crisis
Molly Wells, a fourth-year marine biology student at Dal spent about 10 weeks on the open seas with 90 students from 12 countries and 35 fields of study as part of a summer course at sea funded by the Dal-led Ocean Frontier Institute.
Read more in Dal News

Civic university with global impact

New research is helping communities across Atlantic Canada restore ocean plants that store carbon
In the ocean, seagrasses are responsible for storing nearly 10 per cent of the world’s carbon each year, even though they cover a mere 0.2 per cent of the ocean floor. Read the Dal News story about how the Community Eelgrass Restoration Initiative is working with communities across Nova Scotia to replant damaged eelgrass meadows.

Engage meaningfully with issues
Since 2010, the College of Sustainability has hosted a weekly ESS (Environment, Sustainability and Society) Lecture Series that is open to the public on topics related to environmental sustainability, social justice, and the impacts of climate crisis. Watch Carbon Markets, Carbon Finance and Net Zero Targets and others on Vimeo.

Can democracies get a grip on climate change? Takeaways from this year's Stanfield Conversation
While all three panelists expressed optimism that democracies can rise the challenge, the night's wide-ranging discussion made it clear that it won't be easy. It will require a lot more effort from politicans and citizens alike. Read the Dal News story about the conversation on climate change.

Dal alum recognized for youth leadership on climate action
Jasveen Brar (BSc’17) is the executive director of Youth Climate Lab (YCL), a Canada-based global non-profit organization that equips youth with the skills, financial access and policy knowledge needed to become leaders in the fight against climate change. Read the Dal News story about the alum-led Youth Climate Lab.

Bolstered by $397M research program, Dalhousie continues push for international ocean observation at COP28
A delegation from Dalhousie will participate in the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) to elevate the role of the ocean in the fight against climate change. Read the Dal News story about prioritizing ocean research at COP28.

Dalhousie co‑hosts national trainee program seeking to reduce health sector’s impact on climate change
A new program launched this summer by a collection of national research groups in collaboration with Dalhousie and other Canadian universities offered trainees in health-related professions a window into the substantial impact of modern health care on climate change. Read the Dal News story on the trainee program.

Behind the scenes: How COP27 reached a deal that supports better monitoring of oceans to curb climate crisis
Anya Waite, CEO and Scientific Director, Ocean Frontier Institute; Professor and Associate VP Research, joined representatives from nations around the world at COP27 as they inched toward an agreement on how to observe the changing atmosphere, land and ocean more comprehensively to ensure the world can reach its climate targets. Read the Dal News story on Dal's involvement at COP27.

Climate change‑combatting innovations from Dal alumni sisters elevated to global stage at COP27
Innovations from sisters Leah (BSc’11, MSc’13, PhD’18) and Sarah Ellis (BSc’17) companies were featured at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Sublime Systems is commercializing a process for low-carbon cement production. While Via Separations aims to eliminate energy used in industrial processes. Read the Dal News story on the Dal alum at COP27.

Warmer - Wetter - Wilder: NORTHERN CLIMATE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE: Climate Change Resilience through Ecological Solutions
Dalhousie University and the Green Infrastructure Performance Lab hosted Atlantic Canada’s first Green Infrastructure Conference to explore how landscape architects, designers, and planners can respond to Atlantic Canada’s climate vulnerability and increase resilience through Green Infrastructure?

Foundation for inclusion and distinction

When we plan sustainable events, we put our values into actions
The Sustainable Event Certification is about recognizing our campus community for planning events that reduce our impact on the environment. The program focuses on waste,water and energy reduction as well as inclusivity and accessibility.

A decade of experience working on university climate strategies
On December 11, 2009, Dalhousie signed the University and College’s Climate Change Statement for Canada. Dalhousie's second edition of the University Climate Change Plan focuses on university operational climate objectives. Goals relate to mitigation, adaptation and education outcomes.

Green Labs
Dalhousie has over 1350 laboratory spaces across our four campuses and lab spaces typically are four to five times more energy intensive than classroom space. The Green Labs program goal is to develop standards and inspire the many behavioural changes that are needed throughout the scientific community.

Dalhousie's third STARS gold rating in a row marks a decade of improvement
Dalhousie has once again earned a gold rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). A charter participant in STARS, Dalhousie’s first submission ten years ago was given a silver rating — the university has been earning gold since then. Read the Dal News story about Dal's third STARS gold rating.