Ten of Quebec's universities have united to declare a climate emergency, signing an international declaration that commits them to make structural changes to how they operate.

The universities agree to become carbon-neutral by 2050 at the latest (2030 if possible), allocate more resources for research into climate change, and increase the number of enivronmental and sustainability-related academic programs and other resources.

The Quebec universities who have signed the declaration are Concordia, Bishop's, Sherbrooke, Laval, Polytechnique Montreal, Universite de Montreal, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, HEC Montreal, Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres and UQAM.

Notably absent from the list of signatories to the declaration is McGill University, the only Montreal university not to take part. A spokesperson told CTV News Montreal that McGill is taking up the challenge posed by climate change through the "advancement of knowledge" and its own operations, including a $10-million fund that supports sustainability-focused research and a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2040.

The declaration, which will be made official in December during the Conference of Parties in Santiago, Chile, has been signed by more than 200 institutions of higher learning around the world.

The declaration comes just days ahead of what's shaping up to be a massive climate change march in Montreal on Friday. Montreal's mayor expects some 300,000 people, mainly students, to take part in the march, which begins at noon at the base of Mount Royal.

Among the attendees will be Greta Thunberg, the teen activist  from Sweden who has made international headlines with her efforts to raise awareness of climate change.