UOW leads global climate change action

A sea of Xs will be dotting the University of Wollongong lawn this week as part fo Global Climate Change Week. Picture: Georgia Matts
A sea of Xs will be dotting the University of Wollongong lawn this week as part fo Global Climate Change Week. Picture: Georgia Matts

On Monday, X marked the spot where the University of Wollongong week of events to deal with climate change.

Now in its third year, Global Climate Change Week (GCCW) looks to get academics out into the wider community to talk about climate change.

And the “Global” isn’t just wishful thinking; while the concept was created by a group of University of Wollongong academics, this year it’s also being observed at universities in The Philippines, the United Kingdom and Africa.

The week-long series of events kicked off with a protest against fossil fuel investment that saw hundreds of bright orange Xs placed across the university lawn.

The X is the symbol of the fossil-free movement and each one represented a signature on a petition to get the University of Wollongong to sell off its fossil fuel investments.

Global Climate Change Week's Amy Fairall and founder Keith Horton at the University of Wollongong's protest against fossil fuel investment. Picture: Georgia Matts

Global Climate Change Week's Amy Fairall and founder Keith Horton at the University of Wollongong's protest against fossil fuel investment. Picture: Georgia Matts

Dr Keith Horton, a lecturer in the faculty of law, humanities and the arts, was the founder of GCCW.

He said pushing for companies to divest – or sell off – their fossil fuel investments is something the average person can do to make a difference in what can seem like such a large-scale problem.

“By doing so you’re giving some momentum to the battle to reduce our carbon emissions,” Dr Horton said.

“It’s the fossil fuel companies that are causing most of the problem and by taking the money out we’re giving an indication that we don’t approve of using fossil fuels more than is necessary.

“In the future we want people to switch to renewables.”

Dr Horton said he started the GCCW three years ago to look to get more academics and students working to deal with climate change.

“There are a few people who are experts, like climate scientists, and they’ve done a great job talking to the media,” he said.

“But we wanted to try to get the whole academic community involved, that was the basic idea.”

Other events in this week include a community discussion about climate change on Wednesday night at the Wollongong Tennis Club.

On Thursday night at the Innovation Campus there is a seminar entitled 100 Solutions to Climate Change, that will cover topics like solar power and electric cars.

For more information on the week’s events visit the “Global Climate Change Week – UOW” page on Facebook.

This story UOW leads global climate change action first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.