Reacting to the challenges of global climate change, Lithuanian universities signed an agreement committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to evaluate university campuses’ resistance to climate change and develop climate change scientific research. In addition, the universities tasked themselves to include climate change questions in their study programmes, actively raise public awareness and strengthen the role of scientists in the policy decision making.
According to Vilnius University (VU) Rector Prof Artūras Žukauskas, as the world is now facing a changing climate and various hardships, the responsibility is growing for the universities not only to demonstrate leadership, but also engage scientists to look for answers how to minimise the negative effects of these changes.
“Climate change is already causing existential challenges in part of the world, and we, scientists, have to look for ways to minimise the growing threats decades ahead. Climate affects all areas of our lives, all sectors of the economy. In the future, climate change will prompt even larger population migration that will change social and cultural structures of nations. Sometimes it is difficult to imagine the scale of the problem we are talking about, however, everybody has to contribute,” says VU Rector Prof Artūras Žukauskas.
Rectors of Lithuanian universities believe that purposeful leadership in fighting climate change, scientific research and innovation will minimize the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, advance climate friendly energetics, transport and construction technology, reduce energy consumption and improve quality of life. It is expected that other science and research institutions will join planned activities.
Agreement initiated by VU was signed by the University of Management and Economics, Kaunas University of Technology, Klaipeda University, General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Lithuanian Sports University, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Mykolas Romeris University, Šiauliai University, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and Vytautas Magnus University.