Continuing Commitment to Climate Change Action: Jesuit Universities Join Efforts in Aftermath of U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Agreement
BY ISN STAFF | June 12, 2017
The presidents of College of the Holy Cross, Fordham University, Le Moyne College, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University New Orleans, Saint Peter’s University, Seattle University, and the University of San Francisco have signed on to We Are Still In, a statement uniting more than 1,200 governors, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities declaring their intent to continue to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions.
Together, these leaders are sending a strong signal to the international community and the 194 other parties to the Paris Agreement about the continued commitment of the U.S. to ambitious action on climate change despite a withdrawal from the agreement at the federal level. The signatories are collectively delivering concrete emissions reductions that will help meet America’s emissions pledge under the Paris Agreement.
“In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years,” reads the statement. “Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.”Signatories include leaders from 125 cities, 9 states, 902 businesses and investors, and 183 colleges and universities. Participating cities and states represent 120 million Americans and contribute $6.2 trillion to the U.S. economy, and include Oregon and cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Houston as well as smaller cities like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Dubuque, Iowa. A mixture of private universities, state schools and community colleges, both small and large, have added their institutions to the statement. In total the undersigned businesses and investors account for a total annual revenue of $1.4 trillion and include over 20 Fortune 500 companies, including Apple, eBay, Gap Inc., Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Nike, in addition to hundreds of small businesses, have also signed the statement.
Georgetown University has separately joined 11 U.S. research institutions, signing a similar commitment. “As a Catholic and Jesuit university, we believe caring for our environment is one of the most urgent moral and practical concerns of our time,” says Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. The university also announced this week a socially responsible investing policy, with the goal of aligning university investments to its’ commitment to environmental stewardship, as well as social justice, protection of human life and dignity, and promotion of the common good.
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