Reaffirm MSU's Efforts to Curb Climate Change

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Dear President Simon,


As you know, President Trump decided to have the United States withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.  As you also know, many faculty and students at Michigan State University have conducted excellent research, coursework, and extension work regarding the natural science, social science, and humanities aspects of this significant threat to our planet and all of its present and future inhabitants. Our institution is a nationally recognized leader in the area of climate change and clean energy research, in addition to endorsing an Energy Transition Plan already aiming to move MSU to 100% renewable energy and invest in clean technology research.

We write to let you know of an opportunity arising from Thursday’s federal action to restate Michigan State University’s commitment to doing what institutions of higher learning do best – educate the next generation about the problems that they are likely to face in their lives and provide them with the tools to understand and respond to them as effectively as possible. There is an immediate opportunity to join an initial group of 3 governors, 30 mayors, and 80 university presidents in signing a joint “Grand Coalition Statement on Paris Agreement” the main points of which are:

-In the absence of Federal support, states, cities, colleges and universities and businesses will pursue ambitious climate goals, to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.
-In the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities and businesses.
-We will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to under 2°C and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.
-The full statement that was initiated by Second Nature is at: http://secondnature.org/ wp-content/uploads/final- withdraw-sector-stateme...

We hope that you will consider adding Michigan State University’s name to this list. The deadline for initial participation is Monday, June 5, 2017 at 1pm EST. However, it is our understanding that additional participants may be added after that time.
The long-term nature of both the threat of climate change and our responses to that threat lead us to also offer to work with you and the MSU administration more generally to identify the best way for us to incorporate a serious engagement with the issue of climate change as part of MSU’s mission of  “providing outstanding…education…in order to prepare [students] to contribute fully to society as globally engaged citizen leaders; conducting research of the highest caliber that seeks to answer questions and create solutions in order to expand human understanding and make a positive difference, both locally and globally; [and] advancing outreach, engagement, and economic development activities that are innovative, research-driven, and lead to a better quality of life for individuals and communities, at home and around the world.”

 



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