The strategy is a community led initiative which approaches sustainability in a holistic manner under six key categories: research and learning, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, nature and ecosystems, health and well-being, built environment, governance and leadership.
Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, said: “It is wonderful to see NUI Galway recognising the crucial role that they and other third level institutions can and should play in shaping a sustainable future on our shared planet. This strategy demonstrates more of the positive joined up thinking seen in the University’s recent commitment to divestment from fossil fuels following a successful campaign by staff and students."
She continued "While the proposals in this plan are well-grounded in Galway and the campus community, they are also a commitment to partnership with the wider world. The UN Sustainable Development Goals have set out an important blueprint for Ireland and many countries and remind us that sustainability is not only about the environment, it is also about social sustainability. It is therefore great to see holistic proposals in this strategy that range from crucial climate change research to new mental health initiatives with space for new and innovative ideas to emerge.”
Disappointingly, on the same day that the strategy was launched The Climate Change Performance Index ranked Ireland as the worst performing country in Europe in terms of climate action. Senator Alice-Mary Higgins said, "It is important that the commitment to climate action which we see among civil society and emerging from the recommendations of the citizens' assembly should be reflected in government policy. I will continue to work with colleagues to push the government to increase their ambition for climate action to match that of civil society."