Given the severe climate change, achieving net-zero emissions is a global consensus. Currently, more than 130 countries have declared and taken action towards "net-zero emissions by 2050" targets, and Taiwan is also echoing this goal. On August 24th, Green University Union of Taiwan invited universities such as National Yunlin University of Science and Technology and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to jointly explore topics related to sustainable development and climate change at National Chung Cheng University (CCU). They are also incorporating green energy concepts into university education to fulfill the role of universities in social responsibility.
Dr. Zhang-Hua Fong, President of CCU, expressed that as a member of the Green University, the university has been actively promoting green environmental protection, energy conservation, carbon reduction, and the Green Energy Office for a long time. Today, Chung Cheng University is honored to host this event and hopes that through systematic operations, it can showcase a greener and safer, healthier campus environment.
Dr. Neng-Shu Yang, President of National Yunlin University of Science and Technology and Chairman of Green University Union of Taiwan, mentioned that Green University Union of Taiwan currently consists of 57 member institutions. He hopes that everyone can learn from each other and grow together. In response to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) issues, the future may involve collaborations with private enterprises or government entities, harnessing the collective strength of all parties. With the support of Green University Union, they can work together to advance forward.
Director of the Center for General Education at CCU, Wei-Ping Hu, stated that the university itself is an important natural asset in the areas of Minxiong Township. The Center for General Education has always placed great emphasis on environmental protection and ecological conservation issues. In line with the international goals of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and sustainable development, they have been actively offering relevant courses, establishing green energy facilities, conducting ecological surveys, environmental monitoring, and long-term environmental and ecological conservation activities to manage a green university campus.
Industrial Technology Research Institute's distinguished expert, Alex Peng, pointed out that achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 becomes even more critical since climate change and extreme weather events have already begun to impact the global ecology and livelihoods, subsequently altering Taiwan's and the world's economic, energy, environmental, and industrial structures. In the face of this significant trend, universities need to actively nurture green professionals, starting with technological innovation, business models, and financial investments, to collaboratively build a green ecological new century.
External committee member Yi-Yen Wu of the Green University and Sustainable Development Promotion Committee at CCU mentioned that we will face three major global challenges in the future, namely "antibiotic resistance, viruses, and climate crisis." In recent years, we have placed particular emphasis on research in areas such as holistic nutrient cultivation techniques, photosynthetic enzymes, nutrition, and microbiology. This research aims to assist crops in coping with extreme weather, viruses, and antibiotic resistance challenges. Additionally, we are exploring how to harness atmospheric CO2 during the climate crisis to increase crop production, addressing issues of food scarcity and the survival of humanity on Earth.
Green University Union of Taiwan expresses its commitment to actively uphold the principles of the Talloires Declaration and fulfill the social responsibility and mission of higher education. We aspire to harness the collective strength of all universities while collaborating with the government and non-governmental organizations to collectively advance the mission of green universities in our country and share green energy resources. Additionally, we warmly welcome more domestic universities to actively engage with environmental issues and apply for membership in our alliance.