Six California State University Presidents Sign Open Letters on Climate Action


Newswise — Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen has joined California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White and five other CSU presidents in urging President-elect Donald Trump and the incoming Congress to support U.S. participation in climate research, investment in the low-carbon economy, and the science-based targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.

White and the six CSU campus leaders, along with other chancellors and presidents from more than 170 U.S. colleges and universities – and leaders of 35 states – all signed an open letter on climate action.

“Institutions of higher education are places where scientific advancements are made and solutions to global problems are realized,” Nelsen says. “Climate change is one of the greatest issues facing our planet, and universities across the nation are prepared to find solutions. Federal support is imperative to this cause.”

The open letter, organized by the nonprofit Second Nature and the higher education institutions, says in part:

“The upcoming transition of federal leadership presents a unique opportunity to address head-on the challenges of climate change by accelerating the new energy economy and creating strong, resilient communities. We are committed to developing and deploying innovative climate solutions that provide a prosperous future for all Americans.”

Second Nature is the nation’s largest university-based climate alliance with a network of more than 650 institutions, including nine of Sac State’s sister CSU campuses.

Sacramento State marked Earth Day 2016 by joining the national Climate Leadership Network and making a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality. Nelsen, along with other university and college presidents around the country, signed Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Carbon Commitment.

Sac State is taking inventory of greenhouse gas emissions on campus and identifying ways to reduce discharges. The University’s plan and updated progress reports can be found at secondnature.org.

In addition to Nelsen, the CSU presidents who signed the open letter on climate change were Horace Mitchell, CSU Bakersfield; Gayle Hutchinson, CSU, Chico; Jane Conoley, Cal State Long Beach; Eduardo Ochoa, Cal State Monterey Bay; and Dianne Harrison, Cal State Northridge.

Second Nature and the Climate Leadership Network institutions will continue to discuss how they can positively influence and drive national climate action during the 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit, Feb. 13-15, in Tempe, Ariz. – Dixie Reid

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