On November 19, the White House launched American Campuses Act on Climate (ACAC) initiative to amplify the voice of the higher-ed community in support of a strong international climate agreement in the United Nations COP21 climate negotiations in Paris. The launch included a White House roundtable with campus and business leaders, including school presidents and students, to highlight best practices to promote sustainability and address climate change on college campuses. Additionally, a live-streamed conversation with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy also energized young people to achieve ambitious climate goals on their campuses and push for increased global action.
As of December 10, 318 colleges and universities representing over 4 million students have demonstrated their commitment by joining the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge. Modeled on the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, it complements any previous pledges or commitments institutions might have already.
The pledge reads:
“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.”
Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt lauded the White House pledge saying, "I want to enthusiastically commend the White House and President Obama for their efforts to fight global climate change. The COP21 agreement is a tremendous positive step. Antioch College is delighted to join our peer institutions across the country to stand with the White House to expand what we've seen long seen as one of our core missions, the creation of a sustainable, resilient and low carbon campus."
A list of all signatory schools is available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/11/american-campuses-act-climate.