An Education in Sustainability Achieving a Climate-Neutral University – Dr Oliver Opel, West-Coast University of Applied Sciences
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This SciPod is a summary of paper ‘Climate-neutral and sustainable campus Leuphana University of Leuneburg’, from Energy
About this episode
Dr Oliver Opel of the West-Coast University of Applied Sciences in Germany reports on how Leuphana University was transformed into a climate-neutral and environmentally sustainable campus. In the face of accelerating climate change, this exemplary case study provides guidance to other universities and institutions that also wish to become leaders in climate action.
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Humans have driven dramatic environmental changes – most of which have a negative impact on us and other species. Today, we can only understand ecological systems by integrating the impacts of human activities, driven by our social systems. These social-ecological systems are dynamic, consisting of feedback loops and several interacting sub-systems – such as forests and agricultural production. The resilience of these systems is dependent on diversity – be it ecological or social. Beyond a certain point, a sub-system may cross a tipping point that changes the state of the whole system, potentially irreversibly, ushering in a new social-ecological state, which is typically less favourable than the former state. In recent research, an international team of experts has developed an advanced analytical framework to examine the tipping points within the social-ecological multiverse of the Southwestern Amazon.
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