the logo

Top universities for climate action 2024

Explore the top 100 universities for climate action, based on data collected as part of the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

    June 12 2024
    Best universities for climate action


    Warnings from environmentalists about the dangers of climate change have become louder and louder over the past few years. If we don’t drastically cut carbon emissions, there could be serious repercussions for the planet.

    Many universities are providing great examples of how to combat climate change through pledging to hit zero carbon emissions, refitting buildings to be more energy-efficient and arming students with the knowledge and skills to make individual changes.

    The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) look to tackle some of today’s biggest global issues, and one of them, SDG 13, covers climate action.

    As part of the 2024 Impact Rankings, Times Higher Education has produced a ranking focusing on how universities are contributing to climate action. Some of the measures taken into account for the ranking are low-carbon energy use, a commitment to carbon-neutrality and working with local or national governments to address climate change. You can read more about the methodology here.

    Top five universities for climate action

    1. University of Tasmania

    The University of Tasmania scored highly in a range of metrics for the climate action ranking, including for the number of climate action papers published, low-carbon energy tracking, the number of local education programmes about climate and its commitment to carbon-neutrality.

    The university’s Climate Futures Research Group works with industry and government agencies around Australia to create projections about the impact of climate change on a range of sectors including wine production and ski resorts.

    2. UNSW Sydney

    UNSW Sydney is the second university from Australia to feature in the top five for SDG 13.

    The university has made a range of commitments to tackle climate change, including 30 per cent less emissions by 2025, 50 per cent less emissions by 2030 and to be net zero by 2050.

    The Climate Change Network is a network of staff and students who hold regular events and activities to combat climate change within the university and the local community.

    3. Simon Fraser University

    Simon Fraser University, which is located in Canada, climbs two places this year.

    The university offers more than 230 sustainability courses, and its environmental science programme has been running for more than 25 years.

    In 2019, the university opened its School of Sustainable Energy Engineering.

    Top universities for tackling gender equality
    Top universities in the world for global impact
    Best universities for recycling and sustainability
    Best universities for reducing inequalities

    4. Western Sydney University

    Western Sydney University has been certified carbon neutral for its business operations since 2023.

    The university has a range of initiatives with a focus on sustainability, including electric vehicle charging stations on campus and regenerative agriculture practices.

    The university has managed to reduce waste by 50 per cent, and all retailers on campus have halted the use of single-use plastic products.

    5. University of Victoria

    The University of Victoria has a strategic framework in place that outlines the measures it will take to tackle climate change.

    One of the measures laid out in the framework is to ensure that students are engaged with the principles of sustainability and have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of sustainable practices.

    The university is also in the process of consulting staff, students and the local community on a climate and sustainability action plan that will outline measurable outcomes for the university’s commitment to sustainability.

    The top universities for climate action 2024: top 100

    Climate action rank 2024UniversityCountry/region
    1University of TasmaniaAustralia
    2UNSW SydneyAustralia
    3Simon Fraser UniversityCanada
    4Western Sydney UniversityAustralia
    5University of VictoriaCanada
    6University of Eastern FinlandFinland
    7Abdullah Gül UniversityTurkey
    8Aalborg UniversityDenmark
    9University of NewcastleAustralia
    10Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUTFinland
    11Arizona State University (Tempe)United States
    12University of ExeterUnited Kingdom
    13Université LavalCanada
    14Delft University of TechnologyNetherlands
    15University of Technology SydneyAustralia
    16RMIT UniversityAustralia
    17Wageningen University & ResearchNetherlands
    18University at BuffaloUnited States
    19University of ReadingUnited Kingdom
    20Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB)Chile
    =21Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong
    =21University of AucklandNew Zealand
    23KTH Royal Institute of TechnologySweden
    24University of the West of EnglandUnited Kingdom
    25Université de MontréalCanada
    26University of HelsinkiFinland
    27University of East AngliaUnited Kingdom
    28Australian National UniversityAustralia
    =29Technological University DublinIreland
    =29University of SussexUnited Kingdom
    31Newcastle UniversityUnited Kingdom
    32University of CanterburyNew Zealand
    33Polytechnic University of ValenciaSpain
    34University of GlasgowUnited Kingdom
    =35Massey UniversityNew Zealand
    =35Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management SciencesIndia
    =35University of LiverpoolUnited Kingdom
    38Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST)Egypt
    39King’s College LondonUnited Kingdom
    40University of YorkUnited Kingdom
    41La Trobe UniversityAustralia
    =42Bournemouth UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =42University of BarcelonaSpain
    44Macquarie UniversityAustralia
    45Queen’s UniversityCanada
    46Tecnológico de MonterreyMexico
    47University of ManchesterUnited Kingdom
    48Charles Sturt UniversityAustralia
    49IMT AtlantiqueFrance
    50University of LeedsUnited Kingdom
    51Concordia UniversityCanada
    52National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)Taiwan
    53University of MinnesotaUnited States
    =54Hiroshima UniversityJapan
    =54University of EssexUnited Kingdom
    56Lancaster UniversityUnited Kingdom
    57Katholische Universität Eichstätt-IngolstadtGermany
    58Universitat Politècnica de CatalunyaSpain
    =59Radboud University NijmegenNetherlands
    =59University of HullUnited Kingdom
    =59University of ValladolidSpain
    =62Northumbria UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =62University of AlgarvePortugal
    =62University of WollongongAustralia
    =65Lakehead UniversityCanada
    =65Rovira i Virgili UniversitySpain
    67Pontificia Universidad Católica de ChileChile
    =68Technical University of MadridSpain
    =68University of GironaSpain
    70University of TurkuFinland
    71Lincoln UniversityNew Zealand
    72University of SurreyUnited Kingdom
    =73De Montfort UniversityUnited Kingdom
    =73Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd UniversitySaudi Arabia
    =73University of BolognaItaly
    =73Victoria UniversityAustralia
    =73Victoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand
    78The Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong Kong
    =79Benha UniversityEgypt
    =79SOAS University of LondonUnited Kingdom
    =79University of StirlingUnited Kingdom
    82University of AlbertaCanada
    83Tecnológico de Costa RicaCosta Rica
    84Pontifical Catholic University of PeruPeru
    85Universiti Sains MalaysiaMalaysia
    =86Al-Mustaqbal UniversityIraq
    =86Indiana University BloomingtonUnited States
    =86University of FlorenceItaly
    =86University of NottinghamUnited Kingdom
    =90University of AberdeenUnited Kingdom
    =90University of PlymouthUnited Kingdom
    =92École des Mines de Saint-ÉtienneFrance
    =92University of FreiburgGermany
    =94National Pingtung University of Science and TechnologyTaiwan
    =94National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo UlugbekUzbekistan
    =96Comillas Pontifical UniversitySpain
    =96Pontifical Javeriana UniversityColombia
    =96University of MurciaSpain
    99McMaster UniversityCanada
    =100Brunel University LondonUnited Kingdom
    =100Toronto Metropolitan UniversityCanada

    View the full ranking for climate action here

    You may also like

    sustainability, climate change, recycling, plant-based, sustainable, green

    The student guide to sustainability

    Do your bit to save the planet and follow some of these helpful tips from other students on how to live a more sustainable life 


    April 25 2019
    sticky sign up

    Register free and enjoy extra benefits