Climate Action

Mitigating our climate impact while building capacity to adapt to a changing climate are critical challenges for UNSW. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in 2018 that a rapid and unprecedented transformation is required to limit warming to a ‘safe’ limit of 1.5°C, the aim of the 2016 Paris Agreement.

Our landmark solar power purchase agreement (PPA) will see UNSW supplied with 100% renewable power and reduce net emissions from building electricity and gas usage to zero. We will complete an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions from other sources including purchased goods and services, travel and other activities, which we will use to develop a strategy for net-zero emissions that aligns 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.


  • Transition to renewable energy and reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero

  • Ensure our campuses and operations are resilient to future climate risk



  • 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.