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By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature
(This article appears in the July, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCC

Download the 2012 Climate Leadership Highlights PDF

Signatory Presidents at the 2012 Summit

Signatory presidents of the ACUPCC pose for a photograph during the opening reception

The 6th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Climate Leadership Summit took place June 21st-22nd in Washington, DC at American University. 53 signatory presidents and senior staff from over 65 institutions gathered to celebrate the first five years of the ACUPCC and to respond to the summit theme of Economic Renewal: jump-starting a sustainable economy through the ACUPCC.  The attendees discussed ways for advancing peer-to-peer learning and support across the ACUPCC, and identified next steps to foster the ongoing sustainability transformation of higher education by preparing students for the 21st century economy, increasing affordability and access through cost savings, and advancing innovation through research, experimentation, and role-modeling solutions in campus operations.

Special Report: Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership

Five Year Report

The ACUPCC released a special report: Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership | The Progress and Promise of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

A special report, Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership: The Progress and Promise of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, was released at the Summit, detailing successes from signatory campuses across the country and innovation in education, emissions reductions, financing, and more.

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By Timothy P. White, Chancellor of University of California, Riverside and Co-Chair of the ACUPCC Steering Committee
(This article appears in the July, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCC

In February 2012, the ACUPCC will turn five years old. At this time five years ago, the initiative was an idea, just starting to build momentum. That momentum has now propelled the initial idea into one of the most important climate change initiatives in the world.

Timothy P. WhiteThe higher education sector in the US is responsible for many of the world’s most influential ideas, values, and leaders. With a critical mass of these institutions — nearly 700 strong, representing 6 million students — now making real progress towards climate neutrality, the ACUPCC is laying an important foundation in creating the clean, green economy.

Looking ahead to the next academic year, the ACUPCC Steering Committee has identified three key ideas about how to build new momentum for this critical initiative.

First, we aim to ensure that all ACUPCC institutions are fulfilling their pledge, and realizing the benefits of a proactive climate action plan. In practice, the best metric for measuring fulfillment is the reporting rate — the percentage of ACUPCC schools that are up-to-date in publicly submitting their greenhouse gas inventories, climate action plans, and progress updates. At present, 66% of the network is in good standing with their reporting. We have a goal of increasing that number to at least 80% within the next twelve months.

Second, the network has identified four important, timely topics to focus on in the coming year: (1) financing sustainability projects; (2) addressing the academic component of the Commitment; (3) evaluating higher education’s role in adapting to the impacts driven by climate disruption; and (4) engaging with our international counterparts to support our mutual goals.

And third, we plan to make a concerted effort to increase the size and diversity of the ACUPCC network. Forty-five new signatories joined the network in 2010. We would like to see one hundred new signatories join in the next twelve months, with a special focus on minority-serving and under-resourced institutions.

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