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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Campuses Sign Climate Pledge Act

December 2, 2015

In advance of the United Nations climate conference that began this week in Paris, the White House hosted a summit that highlighted campus efforts to fight global warming.

Thirty-five key higher education leaders attended the November 19 roundtable, including 20 college and university presidents or their representatives, eight students, and six representatives of nonprofits. Longtime NACUBO Sustainability Advisory Panel member Wendell Brase, vice chancellor for administrative and business services at the University of California, Irvine and co-chair of the University of California's Global Climate Leadership Council, was also in attendance.

Prior to the event, 218 campuses, representing more than 3.3 million students, signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge.  Because other colleges and universities have expressed the desire to be included on the list, the White House will accept additional pledges until December 9.

Modeled on the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, the pledge seeks to complement any previous pledges or commitments the campus has made. The pledge reads:

"As institutions of higher education, we applaud the progress already made to promote clean energy and climate action as we seek a comprehensive, ambitious agreement at the United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris. We recognize the urgent need to act now to avoid irreversible costs to our global community's economic prosperity and public health and are optimistic that world leaders will reach an agreement to secure a transition to a low carbon future. Today our school pledges to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across our campus."   

The White House will list the institutions' names on its website.

Pledge Instructions
To sign the pledge, submit an email with the Pledge Template noted below to  from a designated campus official with your institution's commitment in the body of the email and also in an attached PDF on official institutional letterhead. Due to the expected high number of submissions and limited content capacity, submissions must be 175 words or fewer. Submissions are due December 9 by 6 p.m. ET.

Pledge Template
Name of University/College

General statement about promoting low-carbon transition and climate action on campus and community [no more than 2-3 sentences], University or College pledges to [no more than 3-4 bullet points]:

  • XXXX
  • XXXX
  • XXXX

Example Pledge
University of XXXX or XXXX College

Building on our existing renewable energy research and progress, we will extend our commitment to educating not only our students but the public on the benefits of renewables and low-carbon energy through several programs and initiatives:

  • Expand the impacts of Solar, including the rows of photovoltaic panels mounted on campus facilities that generate enough carbon-free energy to power approximately 700 student apartments and also create naturally-lit classrooms for pre-K through post-graduate students.
  • Bring young students from within the surrounding community to tour and learn about solar energy as well as what is means for a sustainable future.
  • Provide more opportunities for public transport through shuttle buses and bike-share systems as well as transform our compost system to take in more food waste for soil amendment.


Sally Grans Korsh
Director, Facilities Management and Environmental Policy