The effects of climate change are being felt around the world and the record-setting heatwaves experienced in many parts of Europe this summer have shined a light on the deadly cost of not taking urgent action.

University of Waterloo researchers and entrepreneurs have been responding to the climate crisis with purpose-driven research and innovations, and members of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change (IC3) have been at the forefront of much of this work. After a year-long consultation process, IC3 is renewing its focus on generating real-world impact essential to climate change science, education, policy and innovation by ratifing a new strategic plan and renaming the centre to the Waterloo Climate Institute.

“It has never been more pivotal for science policy leaders to confront the climate crisis than it will be over the next decade,” says Charmaine B. Dean, Vice-President, Research and International at the University of Waterloo. “This renewed model for the Waterloo Climate Institute will drive interdisciplinary research and innovation in order to address the root causes of climate change and devise an action plan to reshape the future for our planet.”

Moving forward, the institute’s mission will be to elevate and enhance the impact and excellence of innovative interdisciplinary research and education that empowers business, governments, and civil society to respond effectively to the climate crisis.

“The Waterloo Climate Institute has a unique combination of strengths and depth of expertise that allows us to deal head-on with the complexity and interconnectedness of the social, political and technological dimensions of the climate crisis. This new plan will position the institute and our members to lead in critical research areas, and advance knowledge to achieve local to global impact,” says Sarah Burch, Waterloo Climate Institute Executive Director.

The Waterloo Climate Institute will focus on the following core areas, and support research and inquiry that intersects with, and spans across these themes:

Innovation, governance, and equity and justice will be the key areas of focus cutting across each of the research themes to create truly impactful solutions for these existential global challenges.

About the new strategic direction

The consultation process provided an opportunity for IC3 members and the broader University community to consider the proposed direction of the institute within the rapidly shifting context of climate change science, education, policy and innovation. The new 5-year strategic plan renews the institute’s focus on generating impact, along with a new name that clearly reflects the growth of the institute and the deep expertise of its researchers. These changes will re-align the institute’s core strength and capacities.

To learn more about the institute’s new direction, read the strategic plan.