In taking the action, President Hart aligns Temple with more than 500 colleges and universities around the world that have made reducing their impact on the world’s climate a high priority. She said it’s a commitment that the Temple community is ready to make.
“Students, faculty and administrative leaders in the last year have shown tremendous enthusiasm for creating an urban university that is sensitive to its impact on the environment,” Hart said. “Signing the Climate Commitment is the next logical step for Temple.”
The commitment prescribes a series of steps to create an institutional plan for becoming climate neutral, with a special emphasis on reducing greenhouse gases, now seen as major factor in global warming.
As a signatory to the agreement, Temple agrees that it is “deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic and ecological effects.”
Hart will be joined by members of the Sustainability Task Force, Students for Environmental Action and other student environmental groups.
The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment was created in 2006 to encourage and guide institutions of higher education as they reduce their impact on the environment. The complete Climate Commitment is available at www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.
The commitment is the latest in a series of environmentally conscious initiatives being undertaken at Temple. Earlier this spring, the president approved the recommendations of the Sustainability Task Force, and one of her first priorities is to establish an Office of Sustainability to identify and implement programs that promote environmental stewardship, minimize Temple’s environmental impact, work with students and faculty to develop sustainable programs and activities, and position the university as a model for urban sustainability. The office is slated to be self-sustaining within five years through revenue from grants, private fundraising and offsets from energy savings.
For more information about Temple’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.temple.edu/sustainability.