Duration: 01/03/2020 – 31/08/2021
‘We humans are not stupid, we are not ruining the biosphere and future living conditions for all species because we are evil, we are simply not aware. But once we understand, once we realise the situation then we act, we change.’ - Greta Thunberg, climate activist, R20 Austrian World Summit in Wien, 28/05/2019.
The quote describes our mission: V4GU aims at contributing to the support of today’s largest challenge, the fight against climate change by awareness raising. The special report of IPCC on global warming was announced in Incheon, on 8 Oct 2018. It states that limiting global warming to 1.5 C would require rapid, far-reaching changes in all aspects of society. The report relies on more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the contribution of thousands of experts and government reviewers worldwide. One of the key messages that comes out very strongly from this report is that global net human-caused emissions of CO2 need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ for 2050. The report highlights the role of ‘Education, information and community approaches’ in this mission. The past decade has shown that we need to change the way we are talking about climate change. People think that the impacts will arise generations later, and mostly at developing countries. Clear message has to be formulated that shows direct concern for the people. But climate change is caused by GHGs of diverse, invisible sources. We do not see the emissions of our food consumption or energy use, therefore we have to calculate and explain it for people repeatedly. V4GU targets the younger generation, who are the most susceptible. Universities represent large communities with their thousands of employees and ten thousands of students, who can also act as multipliers by sharing their eco-conscious practices with friends, family, wider public via social media. Universities are also equipped with the scientific knowledge to measure the climate impacts of people’s everyday routines, identify reduction potentials, measure results.
Our partners are engaged member universities of the worldwide network of UI GreenMetric World University Ranking [https://greenmetric.ui.ac.id], which calls the attention of university leaders and stakeholders on global climate change, the importance of energy and water conservation, waste recycling, and green transportation. Together with University of Pécs, consortium leader of V4GU, the following partners take part in the implementation:
- Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (Česká zemědělská univerzita v Praze), Czech Republic
- The Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovenská poľnohospodárska univerzita v Nitre), Slovakia
- University of Kragujevac (Универзитет у Крагујевцу), Serbia
- Ukrainian National Forestry University (Державний вищий навчальний заклад «Національний лісотехнічний університет України), Ukraine
The project will build the awareness raising campaign and knowledge exchange on the following activities:
1. ‘V4 Green University conferences’: We’ll organise a virtual conference to introduce:
a. The climate protection program of the institutions;
b. The toolset of the involved universities for mobilizing students, lecturers and employees to change their behaviour and integrate eco-conscious routines into their everyday practices. We focus in identifying what tools touch the students.
c. Results of the activities so far, success factors;
d. Involving all other universities of the V4 countries to the cooperation, motivating them to set up climate protection plans, share knowledge.
2. Local (national) workshops
All partners will organise workshops to discuss the possibilities of joint green university programmes inside the country, and identify the cooperation possibilities with the institutions of the other countries. We will focus on involving experts of energy efficiency, renewables, water consumption, waste treatment, etc. to ensure that realistic actions will be traced out.
3. Video campaigns for students
Students’, our direct target group’s attention can be grabbed only by tailor-made, exciting tools such as online videos with infographics and cartoons. TED videos will serve as a basis for this work. Our aim is to explain the students how their everyday habits influence the climate and how their behaviour could be transformed to an eco-conscious attitude.
4. Organising social competitions
People always compare their behaviour to others and they want to be the best, that’s why social competitions work. The social pressure encourages people to reduce their energy consumption and change some other everyday habits like food consumption, travel or use of water. Partners will organise social competitions – one in each country – to activate their students, and incite them for changing their behaviour.