A Canterbury postgraduate student is cycling through Australia, Asia and Europe on his way to a UN climate congress in Paris.

Gateway Antarctica student Dr Daniel Price is calling his cycling campaign "Pole to Paris", as his journey began on a visit to the Antarctic.

Dr Price completed his PhD at Canterbury last year, focusing on research into techniques to monitor the Antarctic sea ice using satellites.

His cycling journey will take him to the United Nations 21st Congress of the Parties in December, where an agreement on reducing carbon dioxide emissions will be negotiated.

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"The Paris congress will be the culmination of efforts by hundreds of policy makers, thousands of scientists and millions of activists which provide the basis on which a decision will be made," Dr Price said.

"I have started the journey from the Antarctic to Paris to make the public aware of the importance of this meeting in Paris, but also, to motivate them to engage in the climate story."

Dr Price leaves Christchurch on Tuesday for Brisbane, and will cycle through Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, China, Central Asia and Europe, on his way to Paris.

Meanwhile, a Norwegian colleague will be running from the Arctic to Paris, where the two will meet up.

Dr Price will document his journey in a series of videos, beginning with the impact of climate change at the poles.

He said he hopes to help bridge the gap between society's understanding of climate change and what science has established.

"I'm fed up of the term climate change. It doesn't portray the scale of the problem. Society needs to shed the idea that climate change is a green or an environmental issue. It is already becoming many people's issue around the world and will eventually become everybody's issue if we fail to act."