Toward a cleaner, more viable future
In 2015, the University of Ottawa became the first university in Canada—and only the second in the world—to sign the Montreal Carbon Pledge. In doing so, we proudly committed ourselves to measuring the carbon footprint of our investment portfolio annually. Last year, the University took a further step by vowing to reduce the carbon footprint of its investments by 30 percent by 2030, among other initiatives to address global warming.
These are meaningful measures as our institution expands its leadership in finding answers to two of this century’s defining challenges—climate change and global warming—and in training the green leaders of tomorrow. It also reflects our long-standing pledge to help Canada move toward a more sustainable economy and way of life.
This includes building on our strengths in science, engineering and economics, among other areas, to champion renewable energy and other clean technology solutions. Clean technologies span a broad range of products, services and processes that are forging more efficient uses of natural resources and are reducing environmental damage. At the University of Ottawa, we’re not only leading by example at home, we’re fostering clean technology and other green innovation expertise around the world.
In the first year of my mandate as uOttawa’s 30th president, I am very proud of the steps the University is taking to build momentum in Canada and abroad to encourage the development of clean technologies. By harnessing this momentum, I am confident our university will continue to help shape the transition to a cleaner, more viable future.
An urgent call to innovate
To maintain the sustainability of life on this planet, global temperatures must not rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Beyond this slim margin, the scientific consensus is that we will surpass a tipping point, and catastrophic changes to sea levels, food production, wildlife and freshwater reserves will be the tragic result.
Global warming and the shift to a low carbon economy are the driving forces behind the urgency to study, develop and advance clean technology. In the next several years, it is anticipated that clean technology will be the third largest industrial sector in the world.
For many years, the University of Ottawa’s researchers have been studying a variety of issues directly or indirectly related to the development of green innovation in the areas of engineering, green chemistry, law, business and psychology, to name a few.
Thanks in part to this work, the University has become a focal point for the research and development of new clean technologies and related public policy. Ottawa is the centre of Canada’s largest concentration of clean energy and technology researchers in academia, federal labs and companies. Our university is an integral part of this ecosystem.
This issue of Research Perspectives highlights the wealth of research and innovation that the University of Ottawa is contributing to the global effort to advance cleaner, more efficient ways of managing our natural resources and creating energy. Our world—and our future—depend on it.