Affirmation of Leading Research Universities' Commitment to Progress on Climate Change

June 5, 2017

In 2015, we were proud to be among 318 institutions of higher education in signing the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge, affirming our commitment to accelerate the global transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices on our campuses.

Today, we reaffirm that commitment, which is consistent with the Paris Agreement and recognizes the concerted action that is needed at every level to slow, and ultimately prevent, the rise in the global average temperature and to facilitate the transition to a clean energy economy. Universities have a critical role to play in reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions, continuing to advance evidence-based understanding of the causes and effects of climate change on the environment, the economy and public health, and developing solutions.

The scientific consensus is clear that the climate is changing largely due to human activity, that the consequences of climate change are accelerating, and that the imperative of a low carbon future is increasingly urgent. As institutions of higher education, we remain committed to a broad-based global agreement on climate change and will do our part to ensure the United States can meet its contribution.


  • Christina Paxson, President, Brown University
  • Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University
  • Martha E. Pollack, President, Cornell University
  • Philip J. Hanlon, President, Dartmouth College
  • Richard H. Brodhead, President, Duke University
  • John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University
  • Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University
  • Ronald J. Daniels, President, Johns Hopkins University
  • L. Rafael Reif, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President, Stanford University
  • Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania
  • Peter Salovey, President, Yale University


American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge (2015)

“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.”