Goal #13

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDG 13 Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

UNSW is committed to this goal and demonstrates its commitment through:

  • research that builds knowledge and capacity to meet climate change and support the integration of climate change measures into policies and planning
  • courses and education programmes on climate change risks, opportunities and impacts
  • commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across our operations and value chain 
  • co-operative planning for  climate disasters and informing and support of government action on climate change.

We are the problem, but also the solution.

Greenhouse gases are still rising and climate change is occurring at rates much higher than anticipated just a few years ago. The rise in emissions makes a warming trajectory of 1.5 - 2 degrees – the stated goal of the UN – increasingly difficult  to realise and emphasises why we must act to reduce our emissions now. Ultimately, human behaviour has caused climate change and its only by changing human behaviour that we’re going to solve the problem. The are lots of simple actions that are easy to implement and effective, especially if we all adopt them, including reducing car use, reducing food waste, eating more plant based food, and getting involved in groups to integrate climate change majors in to national policy.

In this video, Professor Ben Newell from the School of Psychology, UNSW, breaks down some of the key challenges behind SDG #13

Australian red earth with a blue sky

UNSW Climate Change Research Centre

UNSW CCRC is a multi-disciplinary research centre comprising one of the largest university research facilities of its kind in Australia, administered within the School of BEES in the Faculty of Science. CCRC houses research expertise in the key areas of Earth's climate: atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial processes and applies basic scientific principles to pressing questions on climate dynamics, global climate change, and extremes of weather and climate. It also provides courses, education programmes or campaigns on climate change risks, impacts, mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

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Schools Weather and Air Quality (SWAQ) 

The SWAQ team from the UNSW Climate Change Research Centre developed the first school-based comprehensive atmospheric monitoring network in Australia, known as Schools Weather and Air Quality (SWAQ) and have been nominated for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science


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Forestry activities in Tasmania, Australia

International Universities Climate Alliance

UNSW-led International Universities Climate Alliance has a membership of about 58 universities globally and its mandate is to amplify university research via global communication, to influence policy makers and counter misinformation in the public.One of the topics we’re tackling this year is decarbonisation of the sector, including campus sustainability and achieving net zero targets


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UNSW Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is a key element of our 2025 Strategy. Through this, we have made it our mission to become the first university in Australia to commit to having 100% of its electricity supplied by photovoltaic solar power. Our students and staff are actively engaged in environmental and social issues. We recognise that we are uniquely positioned to contribute to solving global environmental challenges through teaching, research, thought leadership and demonstrating leading practices on our campuses.

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UNSW 2025 Strategy Update

This document celebrates the key achievements of the first phase of the 2025 Strategy, highlighting where we have come from and where we are now. It also updates the framework against which we will assess, track and measure existing and new strategic initiatives over the next five years.


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UNSW Environmental Sustainability Plan

UNSW has a history of environmental stewardship across research, learning & teaching and campus operations across several decades. The Environmental Sustainability Plan (ESP) will build on past achievements, while raising our ambition levels to meet the environmental challenges of today.

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