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Supporting climate action

UD joins universities, governors, businesses in commitment to continue reducing emissions

The University of Delaware joined more than 180 universities, nine governors, 125 city leaders and more than 900 businesses and investors in signing an open letter June 5 declaring a commitment to continue supporting climate action to meet the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The grassroots coalition, “We Are Still In,” is designed to send a strong signal to the international community about the continued commitment of the U.S. to take action on climate change. It comes in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement June 1 to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

“The University of Delaware has a long and distinguished history of research in the areas of energy and the environment, as well as an abiding commitment to sustainability,” UD President Dennis Assanis said. “We are proud to join our colleagues in higher education, along with government and business leaders throughout the nation, in affirming our commitment to addressing one of the biggest challenges facing our world today.”

Emphasizing the shared concerns of government, business and higher education leaders, the “We Are Still In” letter says, in part, “The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them. In addition, nations -- inspired by the actions of local and regional governments, along with businesses -- came to recognize that fighting climate change brings significant economic and public health benefits.”

The letter concludes, “Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity and health.”

Also on June 5, Delaware Gov. John Carney announced that the state of Delaware has joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to upholding the Paris Agreement. He issued a statement about the effects of climate change in Delaware and noted, “The world is now on notice that without the United States’ leadership in reducing greenhouse gases that fuel rapid climate change, it’s an even greater uphill battle for future generations facing this ever-encroaching threat.”

In 2008, the University of Delaware announced a Climate Action Plan and earlier signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and the Talloires Declaration by the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future.


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