Global climate change drastically affects the Earth’s ecosystems and human societies. The frequency of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts increase, stressing infrastructures and claiming many lives. At a global level, rising sea levels, new pandemics and increasing desertification can be clearly linked to climate change. At the faculty ENAC, a large part of research is oriented towards finding ways to transform our societies to limit further warming and to address the risks of climate impact.
In collaboration with the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment (FGSE) of the University of Lausanne (UNIL), ENAC initiated the creation of the Center for Climate Impact and Action (CLIMACT) that officially started its operations in January 2021. The joint EPFL-UNIL research center, co-directed by Prof. Julia Steinberger and Prof. Michael Lehning, invites contributions from all faculties of UNIL and EPFL to take action on climate change and its impacts. It addresses the need not only for consolidating climate change related research and innovation activities, but also for generating visibility in climate action.
CLIMACT seeks to promote integrated economic, social and environmental resilience by developing low-carbon pathways through continuous innovation in our socio-ecological-technical systems. The center will create links between cultural, social and technological solutions applicable from mountaintops to city centers in the fields of water, energy, health, land use, buildings and transportation.
In doing so it relies on EPFL and UNIL existing expertise and further develop their strengths in observations and modelling. The center also aims to play as an interface with different social groups and local authorities, and as a focal point to create synergies between actors and partners active in climate change policies and research. Thanks to strong partnerships with the industry, it will be able to offer a blueprint of applicable carbon-neutral solutions.
CLIMACT will closely interact with existing EPFL and UNIL centers as well as with the new EPFL Vice-Presidency for Responsible Transformation to fulfill its mission to contribute to CO2 neutrality and sustainability.