4 October 2018

Monash University wins United Nations Momentum for Change climate action award

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), as part of its continuous outreach efforts about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), shares this story related to Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, submitted by Monash University, a UNAI member institution located in Australia. 

4 October 2018 - Monash University (Australia), a member institution of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), recently was announced as a winner of the United Nations Momentum for Change climate action award. This initiative of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), aims to showcase practical examples of what has been done to combat climate change. According to UNFCCC, the idea is to recognize "innovative and transformative solutions that address both climate change and wider economic, social and environmental challenges" in the form of "practical, scalable and replicable examples of what people, businesses, governments and industries are doing to tackle climate change".

During the last week of September, fifteen projects showcasing successes in tackling climate change were announced as winners. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, said that "they are proof that climate action is not only possible, it is innovative, it is exciting and it makes a difference”. The Net Zero Initiative by Monash University in partnership with ClimateWorks Australia, was the only awarded project presented by an institution of higher education. According to the University, the goal is to achieve net zero carbon emissions from Monash’s built environment by 2030, paving the way to a future powered entirely by renewable energy.

Professor Margaret Gardner AO, President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, said: “This award is an affirmation of the commitment Monash has made to address climate change and its effects". "Sustainability is a strategic priority for Monash and we want each of our campuses to become exemplars of environmental practice, integrating our education, research and industry partnerships with our built environment”, Professor Gardner noted. So far, this UNAI member institution has started to implement its comprehensive energy-efficiency program, including LED lighting upgrades, mechanical plant renewal and optimization and installed more than 4000 solar panels.

The University also installed a 1 MWh hybrid energy storage system and successfully completed a pilot for its market-leading microgrid, which will control how and when energy is used across campus, and provide a model for how to power a sustainable and reliable electricity network to maximise value for customers. The idea is that the results achieved to this point can make this initiative a model that could "be replicated well beyond the campus boundaries" or "encourage other organizations to undertake similar initiatives”, explained Net Zero Director Scott Ferraro. For more information about it you can visit this dedicated website