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The Carbon Commitment
In January 2013, Gallaudet University joined nearly 700 colleges and universities around the nation in signing onto the Carbon Commitment (previously known as the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment). The full text of the agreement is below.
We, the undersigned presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities, are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic, and ecological effects.
We recognize the scientific consensus that global warming is real and is largely being caused by humans. We further recognize the need to reduce the global emission of greenhouse gases by 80 percent by mid-century at the latest, to avert the worst impacts of global warming and to reestablish the more stable climatic conditions that have made human progress over the last 10,000 years possible.
While we understand that there might be short-term challenges associated with this effort, we believe that there will be great short-, medium-, and long-term economic, health, social, and environmental benefits, including achieving energy independence for the U.S. as quickly as possible.
We believe colleges and universities must exercise leadership in their communities and throughout society by modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions, and by providing the knowledge to educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality. Campuses that address the climate challenge by reducing global warming emissions and by integrating sustainability into their curriculum will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical and civil society.
These colleges and universities will be providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to address the critical, systemic challenges faced by the world in this new century and enable them to benefit from the economic opportunities that will arise as a result of the solutions they develop.
We further believe that colleges and universities that exert leadership in addressing climate change will stabilize and reduce their long-term energy costs, attract excellent students and faculty, attract new sources of funding, and increase the support of alumni and local communities.
Accordingly, we commit our institutions to take the following steps in pursuit of climate neutrality
In recognition of the need to build support for this effort among college and university administrations across America, we will encourage other presidents to join this effort and become signatories to this commitment.
The Signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment
To learn more about the Carbon Commitment, click here.
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