WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — Elsa Núñez, president of Eastern Connecticut State University, has joined two other Connecticut university presidents as well as those from colleges and universities in 35 other states, in urging President-Elect Donald Trump and incoming congressional representatives to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future. Nunez joins Michal Roth, president of Wesleyan University, and Susan Herbst, president of the University of Connecticut, as well as 170 others from across the country.
Through their open letter, organized by a diverse group of higher education institutions and the Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, higher education leaders are calling on elected officials to support participation in the Paris Agreement, climate research and investment in a 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 of schools expressed their alignment with the business and investment communities in supporting the science-based targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Eastern has been taking climate action for years, including voluntarily setting carbon neutrality goals and publicly reporting progress through a program called the Climate Leadership Commitment.
In the past year, Eastern has improved recycling on campus; opened the new Fine Arts Instructional Center, which is built to LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design); and adopted a “trayless” system in the dining hall to reduce food waste, energy and water use.
“I am pleased to join other universities in America in calling for strong leadership in Washington, D.C., on climate change,” said Elsa Núñez, president of Eastern. “At Eastern, we intend to continue our commitment to climate action on our campus and in Connecticut communities.”
For more about sustainability at Eastern, visit: www.easternct.edu/sustainability. A full list of schools supporting the open letter can be found at www.secondnature.org/higher-education-climate-action-letter.