Higher Education Institutions Across the United States Support a Strong 2030 U.S. Climate Target

On Thursday, April 8, 2021, a letter from 75 diverse higher education institutions from across the United States – spanning 29 states – was sent to President Biden urging his administration to adopt a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

By doing so, this emissions goal – known as a nationally determined contribution (NDC) – would put the United States on a viable path towards reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

The higher education sector is leading at the forefront of many global issues, including climate change, and understand the critical importance of the United States addressing the challenge.

A strong national carbon emissions goal will benefit the climate action work higher education institutions are doing on their campuses and in their communities.

“Between the climate leadership colleges and universities illustrate on a daily basis, and that of the Biden administration, the nation has an opportunity to make the crucial changes that it needs to make if we are actually going to make a difference when it comes to climate change.”
Tim Carter, president of Second Nature

College & University Supporters

Agnes Scott College
Antioch University
Bard College
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
California State University, Northridge
Centre College
College of the Atlantic
Dickinson College
Florida A&M University
Frostburg State University
Haverford College
Lane Community College
Loyola University Chicago
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Oakton Community College
Randolph College
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Seattle University
Truckee Meadows Community College
University of California, Riverside
University of Lynchburg
University of Minnesota Duluth
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Washtenaw Community College*
Wheaton College (MA)

Allegheny College
Appalachian State University
Bowie State University
California State University, Long Beach
California State University, Sacramento
Chatham University
Concordia College
Drake University
Fordham University
Goddard College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Lewis & Clark College
Luther College
Menlo College
Portland Community College
Rider University
Saint Peter’s University
Southern Connecticut State University
University of Arkansas
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
University of Minnesota Morris
University of New Hampshire
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
Weber State University
Wells College

American University
Arizona State University
Bunker Hill Community College
California State University, Monterey Bay
California State University, San Bernardino*
Clarkson University
Colby-Sawyer College
Delta College
Eastern Connecticut State University
Framingham State University
Goucher College
Ithaca College
Little Priest Tribal College
Maharishi International University
Mills College
Portland State University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Scripps College
SUNY Orange County Community College
University of California, Davis
University of Denver
University of Minnesota Crookston
University of Minnesota Rochester
University of San Francisco
Virginia Wesleyan University
Wells College

*Denotes that the institution signed on after April 8th.

From the Presidents & Chancellors

“Universities across the country have committed to climate neutrality, and we are very proud of the campuses that have achieved this goal. As we educate the next generation of leaders, we will lead by example, with innovation and resolve to showcase the opportunities of a carbon neutral economy.  We applaud the Biden administration’s appointment of strong climate leaders across federal agencies and urge you to commit to bold greenhouse gas reductions by 2030 as we move collectively toward a carbon neutral future.”
Elsa Núñez, president of Eastern Connecticut State University

“We were delighted that President Biden chose Pittsburgh to launch his Build Back Better initiative, including the vital investments in green infrastructure.  At Chatham, we’re committed to educating a new generation of leaders to follow in Rachel Carson’s footsteps to help us build a healthier and more sustainable future.”
David Finegold, president of Chatham University

“Clarkson University is committed to climate neutrality by 2025.  We include sustainability in everything we do. It is integrated into our core mission, vision, and values. As we educate the leaders of tomorrow, we are committed to advancing research that drives innovation and solving real-world problems.”
Clarkson University president Dr. Tony Collins.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing challenge[s] facing humankind, and I don’t believe it can be mitigated, let alone solved, without the collective action of our nation’s – and world’s – universities.  The scale and complexity of the challenges involved, and the range of solutions required, will depend on the things that universities excel at: research and discovery, teaching and learning, outreach and engagement. It will take interdisciplinary collaboration, ingenuity, hard work, and creative problem solving, as well as the ability to communicate, educate and persuade the public that climate change is real. The earlier we accept and prioritize this goal, the better it will be for future generations.”
Joseph E. Steinmetz, chancellor of the University of Arkansas

“As a higher education institution, Truckee Meadows Community College (Reno, NV) is committed to contributing to a healthier world and positively impacting climate change.  In recent years, we have made great progress toward our goal of campus carbon neutrality and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We have ramped up campus infrastructure improvements and supported our student government association in advocacy for purchasing carbon credits locally. Equally vital to NDC’s are providing training programs that strengthen the renewable energy economy. Through an innovative Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics program, TMCC has trained hundreds of employees for Tesla and Panasonic, among others, to support the job growth of the electric vehicle and lithium battery industry.”
Karin Hilgersom, president of Truckee Meadows Community College

Media Coverage

Higher Education Institutions Urge the Biden Administration to Support a Strong 2030 U.S. Climate Target
Published: April 8, 2021
Source: Clarkson University News 

Rider co-signs letter urging Biden administration to adopt strong carbon reduction goals
Published: April 8, 2021
Source: Rider University News

UCR celebrates Earth Week with activities and pledges throughout the month
Published: April 13, 2021
Source: UC Riverside | Inside UCR

U of A Joins Other Institutions Supporting Strong Climate Target
Published: April 20, 2021
Source: University of Arkansas News

UC Santa Cruz and other higher education institutions urge strong 2030 U.S. climate target
Published: April 8, 2021
Source: UC Santa Cruz News

75 Higher education institutions urge strong 2030 U.S. climate target
Published: April 9, 2021
Source: University Business

75 colleges call on Biden team to lower carbon emissions
Published: April 15, 2021
Source: University Business

Questions? Amanda Belles ([email protected])