This Declaration has been prepared under the auspices of the International Universities Climate Alliance, a consortium that represents the world’s highest performing climate research institutions with a united mission to communicate climate change to the global community with authority and clarity.

Dear G20 Leaders,

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded the global community how closely we are interlinked, and that without global cooperation people suffer unnecessarily. When faced with the challenge to protect humankind from climate change, the best way forward is informed by the most up to date scientific knowledge developed and delivered through multinational collaboration and concerted efforts.

We implore world leaders – particularly G20 leaders – to learn lessons from managing the pandemic: namely, to heed expert advice, to act with urgency, and to prioritise investments strategically. In the case of climate change, this means decarbonising the economy to build a climate-resilient world for future generations. Without a focus on a carbon-neutral economy, investments are incompatible with the important commitments that nations have pledged in the Paris Agreement.

Evidence-based solutions are available today that both decarbonise and strengthen the economy; examples include clean physical infrastructure founded on renewables, building efficiency retrofits, investment in education and training, natural capital investment, and innovation in low carbon technologies.

The G20 members represent 85% of global Gross Domestic Product and nearly 80% of global CO2 emissions. G20 members consume 95% of the world’s coal and more than 70% of its oil and gas. The G20 leaders therefore have both an obligation and the opportunity to lead global systemic change.  G20 governments need to work together to ensure fossil fuel industries rapidly move at scale to become net-zero carbon energy providers.

We still have a window of time to make the necessary transition to a carbon neutral economy, we strongly encourage world leaders to ensure that all COVID stimulus measures maintain their countries’ commitments under the Paris Agreement and work toward a net-zero emission plan.

Signed by

Arizona State University
California Institute of Technology
Delft University of Technology
Hokkaido University
King’s College London
Monash University
Nanjing University
National University of Singapore
New York University
Oregon State University
Penn State University
Sorbonne University
TERI School of Advanced Studies

Texas A&M University
Universidade de Sao Paulo
University of Bergen
University of Bern
University of Bremen
University of Bristol
University of California San Diego
University of Cape Town
University of East Anglia
University of Edinburgh
University of Exeter
University of Helsinki

University of Hong Kong
University of Leeds
University of Manchester
University of Melbourne
UNSW Sydney
University of Oxford
University of Reading
University of Southampton
University of Waikato
University of Washington
University of Zurich
Victoria University of Wellington