TU Delft: TU Delft launches large-scale Climate Action Programme

From April 2021, TU Delft is launching an extensive Climate Action Programme, focusing not only on additional investments in research and education but also improving the sustainability of the TU Delft campus. For the next ten years TU Delft will allocate 22 million euro to set up and further shape this extensive programme.

Climate Action vision document
In April 2019, TU Delft published its vision document outlining the need for far-reaching action on climate. This new Climate Action Programme builds extensively and in concrete terms on the vision document, featuring plans for research, education, action on climate on TU Delft campus and cooperation with the worlds of politics and industry. Prof Herman Russchenberg will act as chair/scientific director of the programme.

Research
The research component of the programme is based on four themes: Climate Science (monitoring and modelling to identify what is happening with the climate), Climate Change Mitigation (what action can we (still) take in order to combat climate change?), Climate Change Adaptation (how can we adapt to a changing climate?) and Climate Governance (what can we do to support politics and society in taking climate measures?).
From April 2021 onwards, these overarching themes will form the basis for the recruitment of additional academics to work on climate solutions as part of seven so-called flagship research programmes, including regional monitoring and modelling of climate change, climate engineering, negative emissions, circularity, tackling urban heat and flood protection.

Education and students
It is not only the campus and research into climate science, adaptation, mitigation and governance that will be given an additional boost – education will also be focusing more on climate action. Ideas on the agenda include the development of a professional lifelong learning programme and a Climate Action minor. There will be close collaboration with students from GreenTU and the faculty Greenteams in the areas of campus sustainability and education.

Campus sustainability
Earlier this year, as part of the Climate Action Programme, Prof. Andy van den Dobbelsteen was appointed as TU Delft’s sustainability coordinator. Together with the various TU Delft divisions he is developing a sustainability vision and programme for the campus, in which the previously published CO2 Roadmap and plans for a new type of CO2 accounting will feature prominently.

Climate Action Hub
The debate about climate action also extends to the political and policy domain. This debate needs to be based on facts and knowledge and needs to account for the important societal and ethical issues of responsibility and justice. We have the goal to develop a ‘Climate Action Hub’, with the aim to support global and national leaders, policy makers and industry in planning for and responding to climate change.

International partnerships
Last year, TU Delft became a member of the International Universities Climate Alliance, a worldwide network of universities united in their commitment to critical climate research. TU Delft is also one of just a hundred organisations worldwide – and the only Dutch university – able to submit nominations for the international Earth Shot Prize, a prestigious worldwide environmental award for finding new solutions to the world’s most important environmental problems. As part of the IDEA league, work is also underway on the development of an ‘IDEA League Framework on Climate’, in which the partner universities are formulating ambitious joint targets for climate action.

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