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Tackling global challenges


24 September 2014

Tackling global challenges

Victoria University of Wellington is reaffirming its commitment to helping tackle key global challenges says Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford. He and his wife Pauline joined the estimated 400,000 people on the ‘People’s Climate March’ in New York, which was held ahead of this week’s United Nations climate summit.

Professor Guilford, who was attending alumni functions and meetings with key university supporters in New York, said the diversity of groups represented on the march—from scientists, green technology groups, conservationists and medical professionals to interfaith groups, top business leaders, political activists, mainstream politicians and the Secretary General of the United Nations—was testament to the depth of concern about climate change.

“Victoria is home to the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute and we have among our staff some of the scientists at the forefront of helping the world to understand the processes and consequences of the changing climate.”

During his trip, Professor Guilford has been meeting with ex-pat kiwis in the United States and Europe and says climate change and sustainability are top of mind issues for a lot of New Zealanders overseas.

In addition, says Professor Guilford, Victoria has recently appointed New Zealand’s first Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability), Professor Charles Daugherty, to strengthen the University’s contribution to a wide range of environmental issues.

Professor Daugherty says many Victoria staff and students are deeply engaged in leading environmental work. “My role is to work across the organisation to not only raise the profile of the work in this area but, more importantly, to allow us to perform at a higher level in advancing environmental research and advancing our environmental performance as a large institution.”

Victoria University is New Zealand’s only signatory of the Talloires Declaration, a declaration of sustainability signed by more than 400 universities and colleges around the world.

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