The White House today announced that more than 200 university and college campuses signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate their support for strong climate action by world leaders in Paris next month.
With less than two weeks until the President attends the Conference on Climate Change, the Administration is committed to building momentum and ensuring a variety of stakeholders are at the table to act on climate. As part of that effort, the White House today announced that more than 200 university and college campuses signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate their support for strong climate action by world leaders in Paris next month. These schools include historically black colleges and universities, religious institutions, women’s colleges, technical schools, community colleges, all schools in the Ivy League, and a variety of public and private universities located across more than 40 states.
"As one of the charter signatories of the ACUPCC, NYU continues to be a staunch supporter of the Administration’s efforts to bring awareness and action surrounding climate change,” said Dianne Anderson, interim director, NYU Office of Sustainability. “The magnitude of the climate challenge necessitates more than mere improvements, or incremental adjustments in policy.”
The institutions signing today’s pledge are also already taking significant action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase campus sustainability and resilience, and incorporate environmental action into academic curriculum. More than 100 of the schools that signed the pledge have also set goals to become carbon neutral within the next few decades.
NYU raised its own bar, setting a 50% GHG reduction target by 2025.
“To date, we have achieved a total reduction in emissions of over 30% through campus-wide energy-saving projects, the cornerstone of which was building a state-of-the-art cogeneration plant,” said Anderson.
Other major initiatives at NYU include the installation of energy-efficient lighting, which improves light quality while saving more than 4 million kWh annually. And, NYU has added almost 5,000 occupancy sensors in residence halls across campus, which has resulted in a savings of over 1.2 million kWh and 2,000 Mlbs of steam each year.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and partner universities and institutions to create a greener and greater global community, not only for our generation, but for the generations to come,” said Anderson.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt worldwide and President Obama recognizes the importance of collaboration and working across sectors to address the impacts of climate change. More than 150 countries representing around 90% of all global emissions have offered climate pledges and last month, 81 companies from across the American economy signed the American Businesses Act on Climate Pledge to demonstrate their commitment to climate action and show their support for a strong international climate agreement. Today’s actions are a great step forward in highlighting American leadership on climate action and ensuring a successful global agreement on climate change next month.
American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge
Today, 218 campuses representing over 3.3 million students across the country are committing to take action on climate by signing American Campuses on Climate Pledge:
“As institutions of higher education, we applaud the progress already made to promote clean energy and climate action as we seek a comprehensive, ambitious agreement at the upcoming United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris. We recognize the urgent need to act now to avoid irreversible costs to our global community’s economic prosperity and public health and are optimistic that world leaders will reach an agreement to secure a transition to a low carbon future. Today our school pledges to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across our campus.”
About the NYU Office of Sustainability--NYU launched its sustainability efforts in 2006 with the creation of Sustainability Task Force formed by faculty, students, staff and administration to galvanize NYU community to plan and take action towards sustainability in the way we live, operate, educate and innovate. The Office of Sustainability implements infrastructure projects, communication and engagement campaigns, and innovative programs to empower, inspire and guide the NYU community to achieve our goals for sustainable practices and culture.