Missing Pieces in Higher Education Climate Action Planning: Food, Reuse and Empowerment


Missing Pieces in Higher Education Climate Action Planning: Food, Reuse and Empowerment

Date and time: February 14 at 2:00–3:00 PM ET

Climate plans can help colleges and universities address climate concerns specific to the students, faculty and staff of that campus. Staff from the Center for Biological Diversity and GAIA will discuss the use of climate plans to build climate-resilient solutions around food systems, reuse / refill solutions, and gender empowerment. Research will be shared that summarizes the inclusion of these topics into campus and community climate plans and resources will be offered for others to build upon this work through practical policy and engagement recommendations.

In conjunction with consumption-based emissions inventories, reuse / refill systems have been largely excluded from climate plans. These systems offer an alternative to the current non-circular global supply chains that are draining valuable resources from the environment. Campuses have a unique opportunity to adequately evaluate the full scope of emissions being generated and to use reuse / refill systems as a ‘low-hanging fruit’ option to combat those increasing emissions.

Food is responsible for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s been largely left off the table of climate plans. Campuses can use climate plans to address food-related emissions while also increasing access to healthy diets and green spaces.

A commonly overlooked climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy is gender equality and empowerment initiatives such as universal access to modern family planning methods, comprehensive sexual education, menstrual equity, affordable reproductive healthcare and updated gender roles that allows for individuals to have agency and bodily autonomy over their bodies.

All three of these topics will be discussed.