HSU Signs Pact to Address Climate Change

Jan 08, 2016

Reflecting Humboldt State’s commitment to environmental sustainability, University President Lisa Rossbacher signed Second Nature’s new Climate Commitment, a pact focused on achieving carbon neutrality and increasing resilience in the face of expected and unexpected change.

“A bold and transformational commitment to sustainability is necessary to have a real impact on our climate—and planetary—future and to foster the next generation of sustainability leaders,” said Rossbacher. “Making this commitment emphasizes our willingness to make changes to adapt to a changing climate.”

By signing the Climate Commitment, HSU is dedicated to:

--Developing a comprehensive Climate Action Plan, which includes target dates for achieving carbon neutrality and meeting defined thresholds of resilience. It will also outline actions to make carbon neutrality and resilience a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for students, and to expand research in carbon neutrality and resilience.

--Submit an annual evaluation of progress and make the plan and evaluation available to public.

Founded in 1993, Second Nature is the nation’s largest university-based climate alliance focused on mitigating and preparing for climate change among its network of over 650 colleges and universities. The Boston-based organization has worked with over 4,000 faculty and administrators at hundreds of colleges and universities to help make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of higher education.

One way of achieving this goal has been through the Climate Commitment. Signed by presidents and chancellors of higher education institutions around the country, the pact calls for a comprehensive Climate Action Plan—which includes recommended steps and timelines for creating and implementing the plan—and an agreement to submit an evaluation on the plan’s progress. Humboldt State’s Climate Action Committee and four working groups have been meeting since last fall to develop the University’s plan.

The commitment is closely aligned with several major elements of HSU's new Strategic Plan, including preparing students to be responsible citizens, partnering with the local community, and being stewards of resources.