Mitigating our climate impact while building capacity to adapt to a changing climate is a key challenge for UNSW. The intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in 2018 that a rapid and unprecedented transformation is required to limit global warming to a ‘safe’ limit of 1.5°C.
UNSW's landmark solar energy purchase agreement, announced in 2018, will see UNSW supplied with 100% emission renewable power by 2020, reducing net emissions from building electricity and gas usage to zero. Nonetheless, initial analysis shows that more than 50% of our emissions are indirect emissions associated with purchased goods and services, travel and other activities. We will develop a complete inventory of our direct and indirect emissions and develop a long-term pathway to zero emissions – aligned with the Paris Agreement commitment of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
The activities in each focus area of the ESP contribute to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
- Reduce net emissions from building energy use to zero by 2020.
- Expand onsite solar energy generation to 1.2 MWp by 2022.
- Reduce total Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in line with a 1.5°C global warming scenario.
- Develop a Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions inventory and strategy to net zero emissions.
- Evaluate carbon pricing mechanisms.
- Purchase 100% renewable electricity by 2020.
- Develop a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan.