Reflections on United Nations SDGs:
n.13 Climate Action

UC Chile has realized this insight through the written article of Maryon Urbina, Director of  Sustainability, and the video of  Catalina Miranda, Engineering student

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 with the goal of providing a path for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. The core of the Agenda is represented by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which represent an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership to adopt strategies that aim to end poverty and other deprivations, improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth. The Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities is collecting insights from SACRU experts and students on the SDGs. 

This contribution is by UC Chile on SDG n13: Climate Action

A Strategy for Climate Action

Written by Maryon Urbina, Sustainability Director of UC Chile

Universities, in their mission to form well-rounded individuals, have an ethical responsibility to address contemporary global challenges such as climate change. SDG 13, “Climate Action,” recognizes climate change as a global threat affecting all countries, with consequences including rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns, increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events, and rising sea levels. Pope Francis, through Laudato Si’, has issued an urgent call to care for our common home, emphasizing the need for an ecological conversion that leads us to respect and protect the environment. Catholic universities, in their mission to form holistic individuals, have the ethical responsibility to address contemporary global challenges by promoting climate action in their teaching and research activities, community engagement, and setting an example for society through their own daily practices.

In this context, UC Chile in 2019 became the first Chilean university to declare a climate emergency, join the Race to Zero, and commit to carbon neutrality by 2038, the year the institution will celebrate its 150th anniversary. Since 2020, UC Chile has developed an organizational structure and participatory process, forming a climate action council that includes representatives from operational, educational, and research areas, as well as students. The council has guided the development of baselines, plans, and new objectives related to mitigation and adaptation on its campuses. In 2023, the university published its Climate Action Strategy, and to date, there have been notable advances. The consideration of SDG 13, Climate Action, by Catholic universities is a natural extension of their foundational principles, educational mission, and commitment to society. Adopting this goal to form agents of positive change is fundamental for a world that desperately needs sustainable and just solutions.