This segment originally appeared on Global News Television, on November 6, 2022.
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British Columbians by now are aware of how catastrophic climate change can be after experiencing extreme storms and wildfire seasons in recent years. Its effects are also now the focus of a new area of study at UBC, where several courses are now being offered to study the impact of climate change. “More climate education is a big message we’re hearing at UBC and universities around the world,’ said Linda Nowlan, UBC’s Sustainability Hub’s senior director. “We really need to educate tomorrow’s leaders so they’re prepared to address this huge challenge for all of us.”
The Inaugural Certificate of Climate Studies and Action was launched at UBC earlier this year. A climate-action lab saw 40 students participate, with the goal of finding green solutions to challenges. On Thursday, those students pitched their ideas to the City of Vancouver. “The City of Vancouver came to us and were looking for ways to encourage citizens from being concerned to being actively engaged,” said Tara Ivanochko, a UBC professor. “(The students) were phenomenal. They were creative and distinct. We had nine different teams working on this, and we had nine different creative solutions.”
Other courses offered at UBC include ways of tackling climate anxiety, how to transition to green energy sources and the impacts of consumerism on the environment. Students have already been involved in climate action at UBC. “Most of the climate action at UBC was student-led and student-governed,” said Carly Hilbert, a UBC student. “This gives us the connections to work with each other. Climate change is bigger than any one person, and the action we need to take is bigger than any one individual.”