by Jamie Leventhal
Northwestern has recently joined 200 colleges and universities around the country after it announced its adoption of President Barack Obama’s Higher Education Climate Pledge on Thursday.
In order to demonstrate its support for climate change initiatives in the upcoming Paris climate talks in December, Northwestern signed on to the “American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge.” The pledge encourages universities to speed up their transition away from fossil fuels, which pump carbon into our atmosphere.
“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.”
According to a letter from President Morton Schapiro, Northwestern has decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent since 2010, accounting to 520,000 metric tons.
“Northwestern University pledges to bring together the scientific research of our faculty, the entrepreneurial leadership of our students and the living laboratories of our campuses in order to advance marketable global energy and sustainability solutions,” Schapiro said in the letter.