ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Global climate change presents a grave threat to humanity and the ecosystems we depend on. Overwhelming scientific evidence indicates that increases in greenhouse gas levels must be reversed in order to avoid catastrophic and irreversible change. The Paris Agreement, signed by 195 nations, represents the only unified global effort to address this challenge. Despite the scientific evidence and popular support for global cooperation, the United States government has indicated that it will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Therefore, U.S. leadership must come from state and local governments, businesses, and other groups uniting and organizing to meet the greatest challenge of our time. Colleges and universities, tasked with advancing scientific knowledge, developing innovative technologies, and educating leaders of the future, must play a central role. Focused research and education are essential for avoiding climate change, and can transform enormous challenges into innovation, growth, and prosperity. Many institutions are already taking action, but the impact of our efforts will be much greater if we are united.
We, the undersigned faculty, students, and staff of U.S. colleges and universities, urge the leaders of our institutions to develop a unified, national academic climate initiative that includes:
(1) working with states, cities, and businesses to lead the U.S. effort to fight climate change;
(2) agreeing on local measures for our campuses that reflect Paris Agreement guidelines;
(3) coordinating and strengthening science, technology, and education on climate change;
(4) informing the public about climate change science, impacts, and potential solutions.