What is it about?

Universities are large sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). These emissions can be managed using a suitable Climate Action Plan (CAP) that involves identifying the sources as well as necessary measures through engaging research. In 2019, the University College Cork (UCC) decided to have its own CAP to limit its GHG emissions. But public health restrictions due to COVID-19 limited how people could be approached to action this plan. People could not have group discussions in person. The researchers thus switched to a modified approach based on the “Delphi” technique. It included a panel of staff and students working for the purpose of climate change. In this study, the authors describe the advantages of using this approach and how it helped UCC generate better ideas for its CAP.

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Why is it important?

Higher-education institutions generally have large campuses that release plenty of greenhouse gases on a daily basis. It is necessary to reduce their overall carbon footprint on an urgent basis. The approach described in this study has several advantages. First, it allows more people to express their views on the CAP. Second, it allows the authorities to better understand and decide which measures should be implemented first. Third, it indicates that CAP measures can impact the social aspects of university life. This was important as it helped identify more practical climate measures. Ultimately, the approach allowed the researchers to be flexible with their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. KEY TAKEAWAY: Over the last few decades, the public has been more aware of the changes in the environment. It is thus important to have more people provide their input, especially when dealing with complex issues like climate change. The modified Delphi approach discussed here allows for a smoother decision-making with more diverse inputs that may have a direct impact on climate change. This research relates to the following Sustainable Development Goals: • SDG 13 - Climate Action • SDG 4 - Quality Education • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Climate Action Planning, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, January 2023, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/16094069221150107.
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