SFU signs Paris Pledge for Action

As the 2015 Paris Climate Conference comes to a close, Simon Fraser University pledges to further its commitment on climate change 

December 15, 2015

Simon Fraser University is joining cities, businesses, investors, civil society groups, labour organizations and other signatories from around the world in a pledge to support a new global climate agreement aimed at limiting temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius. The details are outlined in the Paris Pledge for Action released today.

The document calls for immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level and build resilience against those changes already occurring, without waiting for the agreement to take effect in 2020.

“This pledge is further evidence of SFU’s commitment to promoting a safe and stable climate,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. “Consistent with our new energy utilization policy, SFU will continue to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by making the goal of being powered entirely by renewable energy an institutional priority.”

Earlier this year, SFU signed the G7 letter asking for an ambitious agreement in Paris with the aim to limit the average global temperature increase to two degrees Celsius, and calling on finance ministers to support a global, long-term, emissions reduction goal as part of the Paris agreement.

SFU is also a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment and has a Responsible Investment Committee of the Board, which is pursuing socially responsible investment strategies. Based on the committee’s recommendation, the University has committed $20 million of its endowment fund to socially responsible investments.

“Simon Fraser University is a leader among Canadian universities in responsible investing,” says Alison Blair, Associate Vice-President Finance. “In late 2014, SFU became a signatory to the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change, calling on governments to develop an ambitious global agreement on climate change by the end of 2015. We look forward to engaging with stakeholders across SFU and higher education in supporting the agreement and working toward a more sustainable future.”

SFU’s Strategic Vision commits to pursuing ecological, social and economic sustainability through its programs and operations. From teaching and learning, to research and engagement, to facilities and operations, SFU is at the forefront of the search for solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. 

the Paris Pledge for Action

“As cities, regions, businesses, investors, civil society groups, trade unions and other signatories, coming from every sector of society and every corner of the world, we realize that dangerous climate change threatens our ability and the ability of future generations to live and thrive in a peaceful and prosperous world. We also realize that taking strong action to reduce emissions can not only reduce the risks of climate change but also deliver better growth and sustainable development. As a result, we the undersigned, affirm our strong commitment to a safe and stable climate in which temperature rise is limited to under 2 degrees Celsius. In support of this, we welcome the adoption of a new, universal climate agreement at COP 21 in Paris, which is a critical step on the path to solving climate change. We pledge our support to ensuring that the level of ambition set by the agreement is met or exceeded. We will do this by taking concrete steps now, and without waiting for the entry into force of the agreement in 2020, both individually and cooperatively, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level and build resilience against those changes already occurring. We will look back at this moment as our turning point, when the transition to a low emission and climate resilient economy became inevitable, irreversible and irresistible. We must, we can and, together, we will solve climate change.”