Dr. John M. Anderson, president, Alfred State College, has joined a growing list of higher education leaders committed to fighting global warming. Earlier this week, Anderson agreed to sharply reducing and eventually eliminating all of the college’s global warming emissions, and accelerating the research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.
The pledge came with Anderson’s signing of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of other institutions across the country.
“Global warming is a defining challenge of our time,” said Anderson. “Human activities are responsible for the problem, and working together, humans have the capacity to solve the problem. That means taking serious action today to stop adding global warming pollution to the atmosphere. Alfred State College is committed to leading the way.”
Anderson, in conjunction with the campus community, will create a comprehensive institutional action plan to move toward climate neutrality. In addition, in the short term, Alfred State College has already taken the following concrete actions:
- the establishment of an Institute for Sustainability, directed by Dr. Brian Baker, which includes the Centers of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture (COSA)  and Renewable Energy ;
- the construction of a “green home ” on the Wellsville campus to serve as a showcase, for students and industry, of green building technologies;
- the use of hybrid vehicles when fleet replacements are needed.
These efforts build on Alfred State’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, which includes a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 percent over the next five years; feasibility studies and town-hall meetings to determine the appropriateness of a campus-sited wind farm; and incorporating green technologies into select curriculums.
The Presidents’ Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality – not just a reduction – as its target. This undertaking by America’s colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses.
"Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations," said Michael Crow, president, Arizona State University and a founding member of the ACUPCC Leadership Circle. "On behalf of all the signatories, I welcome Dr. Anderson to the commitment; we are honored and pleased to have him join us."
The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. Under the guidance and direction of the Leadership Circle of presidents, the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, and ecoAmerica.
Learn more at: www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org .