Leading Voices for Climate Action


Interim President Neil Weissman signs open letter on Climate Change to President-elect Trump and Congress

Recently, interim President Neil Weissman, along with presidents and chancellors from more than 170 colleges and universities in 35 states urged president-elect Donald Trump and incoming congressional representatives to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future. Through an open letter organized by a diverse group of higher education institutions and the nonprofit organization Second Nature, they called on elected officials to support participation in the Paris Climate 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,” wrote the group. “We are committed to developing and deploying innovative climate solutions that provide a prosperous future for all Americans.” The group also expressed its alignment with the business and investment communities in supporting the science-based targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Many experts, including Neil Leary, director of Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education, agree that the U.S. has much to gain by participating in the Paris Climate Agreement and a lot to lose by backing out of it. “U.S. businesses will lag in competitiveness as we miss out on this wave of innovation that will determine which businesses and economies will lead in the 21st century,” Leary wrote in The Huffington Post.

Dickinson is recognized as a national leader in sustainability education and sustainable campus operations and has been taking climate action for years, including voluntarily setting carbon neutrality goals. Dickinson’s Climate Action Plan calls for a 25 percent cut in emissions from the 2008 level by 2020. View a full list of schools supporting the open letter.

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Published January 11, 2017