Helping individuals and organisations tackle the climate crisis is the focus of an Australian-first training program adopted by The University of Queensland.
After a successful pilot, UQ Business School became an accredited partner with the Carbon Literacy Project as the first university in Australia to launch a Carbon Literacy Program.
Director for the United Nations (UN) Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) for the UQ Business School Dr Cle-Anne Gabriel, climate expert Dr Saphira Rekker and PRME manager Roxane Valier-Brasier are leading the program.
Dr Gabriel said Carbon Literacy was a term used to describe the knowledge and capacity to act on climate change, and that the program would align efforts between individuals and organisations.
“We’re empowered to partner with the Carbon Literacy Project to help the community and organisations understand the impact of their daily activities on the climate, and highlight the steps they need to take to reduce their carbon footprint and advocate change,” Dr Gabriel said.
After completing the short course, participants undergo a pledge and assessment to become certified as Carbon Literate via the Carbon Literacy Project – a global not-for-profit organisation specialising in climate-action training that has certified more than 20,000 people worldwide.
Carbon Literacy Project co-founder Phil Korbel said partnering with UQ was an important step in spreading awareness about climate change and would give participants the tools to reduce emissions at a personal and corporate level.
“The partnership with UQ is ground-breaking for the Australian education sector and helps to build a network of Carbon Literacy training to embed climate action throughout the institution and broader public,” Mr Korbel said.
“UQ’s vision for Carbon Literacy aligns with this UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last week, which underlines the need for all sectors to get on board with the fight to minimise the climate crisis.
“Carbon Literacy is a professional skill set that applies to all subject specialisms, and UQ will make that skill set a reality.”
UQ is also partnering with other Australian universities to roll out the Carbon Literacy Program nationally.
PRME manager Ms Valier-Brasier said it was crucial to build a greater understanding of carbon impacts in Australia and globally.
“We’re contributing to the development of a Carbon Literate Australia and will foster collaborative partnerships to help provide access to the training anywhere in the country,” she said.
To help amplify the national Carbon Literacy capability, participants can also apply to become a trainer once they are certified by the UQ Carbon Literacy Program.
The program will open during UQ’s Sustainability Week on Monday 16 August.
It will train more than 100 people online on the first day and 1000 people by the end of the year.