AUC’s Participation in COP27

Dear AUC Community,

A few weeks from now, AUC will participate in COP27, an important national and global event focused on climate change that will be held in Egypt for the first time. Hosting an international event of this magnitude is a significant moment for Egypt that creates a platform to amplify the voice of the country and the African continent in this vitally important dialogue around climate action and the complex implications it has on countries of the Global South. 

It is also an opportunity to show the critical role of higher education institutions. AUC established itself as a key resource in Egypt in the fight against climate change. Over the years, we have built expertise and demonstrated serious and impactful commitment to this cause making us pioneers in climate action as an institution of higher education. AUC’s Center for Applied Research on the Environment and Sustainability (CARES) is a leading hub for the adaptation to climate change in Egypt and the region, the development of solutions for food insecurity, and research on desalination and food farming. 

We integrate sustainability into our curriculum, research, and service. We offer a graduate degree in sustainable development and run numerous diploma and professional programs. Our faculty along with our Office of Sustainability have produced innovative research studies and publications such as the bi-annual Carbon Footprint Report, which we were the first University in Egypt to measure and institutionalize across campus. In addition, several labs, centers and programs are collaborating with the public sector and civil society on outreach programs and raising awareness around sustainability and climate change in a locally relevant context. 

Last year, we launched a University-wide Climate Change Initiative to sharpen our focus and better support the work of our faculty, many of whom have been engaged for decades in impactful research that relates to climate change. The initiative website serves as a hub, aggregating the University’s work along five areas of focus: water scarcityenergy transitiongreen financeurban development and public health. In addition, the webpage is an information resource for news, events, relevant academic programs and the University’s efforts to ensure we continue to serve as an institutional role model of sustainable operations. 

AUC’s participation in a global conference like COP27 is a chance to talk about the solutions we have developed to mitigate climate change challenges; show our innovation in sustainability, design and engineering; organize events and panels that add to the conversation and connect with other participants as a springboard for possible collaborations and exchange of expertise in the future. AUC’s COP27 Task Force is responsible for organizing the University’s participation, which will take place through the AUC Pavilion in the Green Zone. Please visit the 10-day program to see the wide range of activities, spanning all of the academic schools and the majority of disciplines. 

While COP27 is an important catalyst for our focus on climate change, it is part of a larger, sustained institutional commitment that will only grow in the years ahead. As we begin plans for campus expansion, we have placed sustainability and reducing our environmental load as priorities. We not only seek to research and teach environmentally conscious development, we will demonstrate it in our own operations and plans for a greener university in the future.

In the last few months, it has been deeply gratifying to see the level of engagement and excitement from students, faculty and the broader community in numerous discussions on campus around topics related to COP27 and climate change. In many ways the Climate Change Initiative offers a useful blueprint for several priorities including advancing interdisciplinary approaches, supporting impactful research, increasing community outreach and serving as a model of best practice through our own sustainable campus operation.

In the weeks ahead, we will continue to highlight the University’s participation in COP27. In the months and years to follow, we will work collectively to ensure that we leverage AUC’s full intellectual and institutional capacity to do our part in contributing to the global fight against climate change.

Sincerely,

Ahmad Dallal