(From Press Release) – Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter and the leaders of the other nine UC campuses have added their names to an open letter urging President-elect Donald Trump and members of Congress to take action to fight climate change.
“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,” Hexter and more than 170 other college and university presidents and chancellors wrote.
The letter, released Monday (Dec. 19), urges Trump and Congress to support participation in the Paris Agreement on climate change, federal and academic research on climate and energy, and investments in the low-carbon economy.
“Your support for these three areas is a critical investment in the future of the millions of students we serve,” the university leaders said in the letter. “We will continue to prepare graduates for the workforce as well as lead in world-class research and innovation in order to secure a healthier and more prosperous future for all.”
The letter was organized by the Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, and cites the leaders’ obligations to current and future generations to fight climate change, reduce pollution, support climate education and continue research of a changing planet.
This letter was collaboratively developed by a diverse group of Higher Education Institutions and Second Nature, and released on Dec. 19, 2016. Institutions can continue to participate until January 13, 2017, when we will send the final letter to the new Congressional delegation and incoming Presidential transition team.
Dear President-elect Trump and Members of the United States Congress,
We, the undersigned leaders of higher education institutions throughout the United States, recognize our academic and ethical responsibilities to current and future generations to take aggressive climate action; to reduce our sector’s carbon pollution, to support interdisciplinary climate education, and to continue research that expands our understanding of rapidly changing earth systems. We are committed to developing and deploying innovative climate solutions that provide a prosperous future for all Americans.
We join our colleagues in the business and investment communities in supporting the science-based targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. In fact, many of our institutions have voluntarily set even more aggressive carbon reduction goals to lead our sector forward and to demonstrate what is possible for others.
Therefore, we ask that you support the following:
- Participation in the Paris Agreement, with the resulting national carbon reduction and clean energy targets, to protect the health of our current communities and our future generations.
- Research in our academic institutions and in federal agencies to ensure that our national climate, energy, and security policies are based on leading scientific and technical knowledge.
- Investments in the low carbon economy as part of a resilient infrastructure to ensure the country can adapt to changing climate hazards. These investments will also help grow American jobs and businesses.
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. This is particularly important for those in our communities most vulnerable to climate change. Your support for these three areas is a critical investment in the future of the millions of students we serve. We will continue to prepare graduates for the workforce as well as lead in world-class research and innovation in order to secure a healthier and more prosperous future for all.
We stand ready to assist your incoming Administration and congressional representatives to embrace this opportunity for the nation to meet these unprecedented global challenges.