June, 5, 2017
Dear Campus Community,
Today, Vassar College has joined with 1,219 governors, mayors, businesses, investors, universities, and colleges to sign an open letter committing us to pursue the ambitious goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. We do this because we believe that the Agreement represents an important step toward reducing climate change; we do it because we believe it will help accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that is critical to all of our futures; and we do it to send a simple message to our global neighbors: that even in the absence of White House support, we are still IN.
Last week, in the wake of the President’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement, I was struck by the outpouring of support for its principles – not just from those of us in academia, not just from a particular political party or ideology – but from all corners. As CEOs of companies spanning an array of industries – manufacturing, technology, energy – tweeted “climate change is real” and took action in response to the President’s decision to withdraw, mayors from cities like Pittsburgh, Boston and New York committed their municipalities to live up to the Agreement and lit their buildings and bridges green.
Microsoft president Brad Smith wrote on LinkedIn "we all live on a small planet and every nation needs to work with others to protect it."
I agree. We live on a small planet. Luckily it is filled with committed leaders working to protect it. Today, I am proud to add Vassar to that list.
For more details on the open letter and a list of other signatories, see We Are Still In. For information on Vassar’s Climate Action Plan, visit sustainability.vassar.edu/climate-action/. The Plan documents our 33% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2005 and our goal of carbon neutrality by 2030, along with a road map of how to get there.