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01-13-2017

Clarkson University Commits to Climate Action

Clarkson University has joined more than 170 colleges and universities to urge President-elect Donald Trump and incoming congressional representatives to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future.

Solar ArrayClarkson President Tony Collins recently signed an open letter, organized by a diverse group of higher education institutions and the Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, in which higher education leaders have called upon elected officials to support participation in the Paris Agreement, climate research and investment in the low carbon economy.

"The upcoming transition of federal leadership presents a unique opportunity to address head-on the challenges of climate change by accelerating the new energy economy and creating strong, resilient communities," the group wrote. "We are committed to developing and deploying innovative climate solutions that provide a prosperous future for all Americans."

The group of schools expressed their alignment with the business and investment communities in supporting the science-based targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. Clarkson has been taking climate action for years, including voluntarily setting carbon neutrality goals and publicly reporting progress through a program called the Climate Leadership Commitments.

"Clarkson is committed to being a green campus, not only in the classroom, but in all that we do -- including our facilities, our operations, and the research performed by students, faculty and staff," said Collins. "In joining colleges and universities across the nation in signing the open letter on climate action, we are emphasizing the importance for leaders to come together to combat climate change and create a sustainable future."

Clarkson received a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (AASHE STARS) program in 2016 for its socially responsible investment in sustainability education and research.

The University also was named a "leader" in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Campus Challenge in 2016. This honor recognizes Clarkson's dedication to advancing clean energy on campus, in the classroom and in the community.

A full list of the schools supporting the open letter can be found at secondnature.org/higher-education-climate-action-letter .

Second Nature works to proactively build a sustainable and positive global future through initiating bold commitments, scaling successful actions, and accelerating innovative solutions among leadership networks in higher education. The Climate Leadership Commitments are a signature program of Second Nature and include a Carbon Commitment (focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions), a Resilience Commitment (focused on climate adaptation and building community capacity), and a Climate Commitment that integrates both. The Climate Leadership Network comprises more than 600 colleges and universities in every state and the District of Columbia who have committed to take action on climate and prepare students through research and education to solve the challenges of the 21st century. Learn more at: secondnature.org.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: A solar array on 12 acres of land just outside of the Village of Potsdam generates close to 10 percent of Clarkson University's electricity needs. Clarkson has joined more than 170 colleges and universities to urge President-elect Donald Trump and incoming congressional representatives to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future.

[Photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/solar-array.jpg ]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Kelly Chezum, VP for External Relations, at 315-268-4483 or kchezum@clarkson.edu.]

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