(Chicago, IL) President Bill Clinton will present a keynote address today at the annual Climate Leadership Summit for members of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
. Six hundred fifty college and university presidents have joined the ACUPCC, a comprehensive global warming initiative through which schools are committing to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions on their campuses, dedicating research and programs to the development of climate change solutions, and training their students to address the climate crisis upon graduation.
Approximately 250 higher education leaders are attending the Summit, which is designed to help university and college presidents, business officers, facilities managers, and other higher education leaders determine how to better: access financing to support climate and sustainability efforts; create or build upon effective climate action plans that include operations, education, and research; successfully lead the campus community through the major transformational change necessary to address this issue; and network with other leaders, whose collaboration can leverage large-scale change in government policies, funding streams, joint purchasing efforts, and other climate-related initiatives.
Said Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and a Co-Chair of the ACUPCC Network, "The sustainability and climate efforts on college and university campuses nationwide are a great start and an inspiring example for all of society, but they are not happening fast enough to match the speed and severity of climate disruption. We've come together this week to get down to business to figure out how to accelerate the pace and success of our efforts."
In addition to President Clinton, other Summit speakers include: Martha J. Kanter, US Undersecretary of Education; S. Richard Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chairman of the US Green Building Council; Peter M. Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline
and founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning; and Janine Benyus, biologist and author of six books including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature
. For a complete agenda and full list of speakers and their bios, see www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/summit/index.htmlAbout the William J. Clinton Foundation
The William J. Clinton Foundation launched the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI)
to create and advance solutions to the core issues driving climate change. Working with governments and businesses around the world, CCI focuses on three strategic program areas: increasing energy efficiency in cities, catalyzing the large-scale supply of clean energy, and working to stop deforestation. CCI and the ACUPCC have partnered to help colleges and universities address climate change by undertaking large-scale energy efficiency retrofits of their campus buildings. In the spring of this year, the ACUPCC and CCI jointly released a best practices toolkit for colleges and universities looking to utilize energy services performance contracting. CCI is also working with a number of ACUPCC signatories to implement energy efficiency building retrofit projects on their campuses.About the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment
Launched in 2007, the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment
is a network of 650 signatory schools, representing all fifty states and the District of Columbia. This high-visibility effort to address global warming garners institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate. The ACUPCC is led by a Steering Committee comprised of more than 20 university and college presidents, including three co-chairs: Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University; Mary Spangler, Chancellor of Houston Community College; and David Shi, President of Furman University. The lead supporting organization of the initiative is the national nonprofit Second Nature
, based in Boston. Sponsorship
The Summit is being hosted at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago by the Wege Foundation
, founded in 1967 by Peter Wege who coined the word and authored the book, Economicology
- defined in brief as a healthy balance between economics and ecology. The Wege Foundation has worked to advance sustainability with colleges and universities for more than 20 years, including its most recent partnership with Professional Supply Inc, helping higher education institutions such as Arizona State University to re-think infrastructure in ways that will dramatically cut energy costs and positively impact curricula.
Foundation support for the Summit and the ACUPCC program have been generously provided by The Kresge Foundation, Flora Family Foundation, The John Merck Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Surdna Foundation. The ACUPCC is also grateful to the corporate sponsors of the Summit, including Ameresco, ARAMARK Higher Education, Honeywell, Mohawk Fine Papers, and t.a.c by Schneider Electric and our Diamond and Platinum program partners: Sodexo, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, and Motorola Foundation.