7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It.
“We all need to work together to nurture a habitable planet for future generations and to play our part in building a greener and cleaner future for all.”
More than 7,000 colleges and universities across the globe declared a climate emergency on Wednesday and unveiled a three-point plan to collectively commit to addressing the crisis.
“Young people around the world feel that schools, colleges, and universities have been too slow to react to the crisis that is now bearing down on us.”
The declaration came in a letter—which other education institutions are encouraged to sign—that was organized by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), U.S.-based higher education climate action organization Second Nature, and U.N. Environment Program’s (UNEP) Youth and Education Alliance.
The letter, according to a statement from organizers, “marks the first time further and higher education establishments have come together to make a collective commitment to address the climate emergency,” and outlines the three-point plan:
Committing to going carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 at the very latest;
Mobilizing more resources for action-oriented climate change research and skills creation; and
Increasing the delivery of environmental and sustainability education across curricula, campus, and community outreach programs.
“The young minds that are shaped by our institutions must be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and capability to respond to the ever-growing challenges of climate change,” the letter says. “We all need to work together to nurture a habitable planet for future generations and to play our part in building a greener and cleaner future for all.”
The letter, which calls on other institutions and governments to declare a climate emergency and pursue urgent action to combat it, was presented at a Wednesday event hosted by the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative—a partnership of various United Nations agencies—at U.N. headquarters in New York City.