SDG #13 Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Committed to being carbon neutral by 2030

Home of world leading researchers in climate change and action

Set to welcome a world-first Bachelor of Climate Change in 2022

We are inspired and emboldened by the many climate change experts within our University who are championing change and providing a guiding light in their respective fields, many on the world stage. We know the challenge ahead is huge but we are committed to taking action, with urgency, to reduce our carbon footprint in everything we do, from how we heat our buildings, reduce our waste and build new infrastructure that is energy efficient from the outset. We monitor and report on our progress with frequency and transparency and have publicly signaled our commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030.

A few things we are especially proud of

Our world-leading Antarctic researchers focused on the impacts of climate change on this precious ecosystem with a focus on endemic micro-organisms.

Our award-winning geochemist Dr Adam Hartland who is finding clues about climate change within dense caving systems to make forecasts about what lies ahead.

Our soil scientists undertaking groundbreaking research to lift the lid on how our earth is responding as it heats up.

Our green champions on campus called Eco Campus who provide year-round inspiration and education on ways to lighten our individual impact on the planet.

Our multi-disciplinary team of researchers exploring how we can be more effective at engaging with our diverse communities so people are more likely to take action on climate change.

Conscious decision making about our carbon footprint in all campus operations and capital projects.

New Dean of Science leads on climate change

We welcomed leading plant physiologist, Professor Margaret Barbour to the lead the School of Science commencing in November 2019. One of her primary areas of focus through 2020 was planning the launch of a new Bachelor of Climate Change degree - a world-first which will be welcoming its first cohort of students in 2022. Professor Barbour is passionate about connecting scientific knowledge with that from other disciplines to ensure we adapt to environmental change.

Shari Gallop

Scientist takes out L’Oréal-UNESCO fellowship for contributions to climate change 

We were proud to see Tauranga-based marine scientist, Dr Shari Gallop, selected as one of the 2020 winners of a L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship for her contributions to climate change. The fellowship recognises excellence in early-career women scientists across New Zealand and Australia and only five are awarded annually. The fellowship will help Shari progress her groundbreaking work on estuary restoration, looking closely at how these biodiversity hotspots will stand up to climate change.

Iain White and Neil Quigley

Waikato joins international Climate Alliance 

The University of Waikato has joined an international coalition of around 50 of the world’s top climate research universities with a shared vision to be a global source of trusted communication of climate research. The International Universities Climate Alliance makes an urgent call for world leaders to use the post-Covid recovery period to implement measures to counteract climate change, warning that failure to do so will lock in catastrophic consequences for generations to come.


Environmental psychology expert appointed to Climate Change Taskforce 

Associate Professor Taciano Milfont was recently appointed as one of 12 members of the Climate Change Taskforce of the American Psychological Association (APA). This prestigious appointment was in recognition of his expertise in taking a cross-cultural approach to environmental problems. Associate Professor Milfont is a psychologist based at our Tauranga campus and leads a research lab dedicated to solving environmental issues by applying psychological principles and methods - a fast growing field.


Helping tourism operators to prepare and play their part

A team of Waikato academics joined forces to provide guidance and support to tourism operators across the country to help them adapt to climate change and become champions for their local environment.  These operators are now armed with a greater understanding of the impacts of their operations on local flora and fauna and how changing temperatures, extreme weather, floods and droughts are affecting our natural environment and what lies ahead. The project was part of the Deep South Challenge: Changing with our Climate and led by Professors Priya Kurian and Debashish Munshi.

Pacific people

Harnessing Indigenous knowledge to fight climate change in the Pacific

In addition to exploring the wellbeing of Niueans in New Zealand with the help of funding from the Health Research Council in 2019, Dr Jessica Pasisi is also focused on helping give Pacific people more agency when coming up with solutions to climate change. Her research brings together the experiences and perceptions of climate change from 12 Niuean women and highlights the value of ancestral knowledge and good work already underway. She plans to convert her research into a book and continue working with Niuean communities.

“I want to give encouragement that Pacific people’s voices do matter. It’s through these people we can challenge the dominant Euro-centric coverage of climate change and see the realities, possibilities and broader underlying issues that are being compounded in the Pacific by climate change.”