UO joins national effort to reaffirm Paris climate agreement

Wind power generators

The University of Oregon has confirmed that “We Are Still In” on the challenge of addressing global warming and climate change.

Dec. 12 marked the five-year anniversary of the world coming together to sign the 2015 Paris climate agreement, and UO President Michael H. Schill reaffirmed that commitment on behalf of the university. In doing so, University of Oregon joined more than a thousand leaders from local governments, businesses, universities and other institutions across the country as part of the “America Is All In” statement.

The “America Is All In” declaration is organized by We Are Still In, a coalition supporting climate action and the United States’ commitments to reduce emissions under the Paris Agreement. With more than 3,900 organizations and institutions across all sectors of the United States, coalition leaders represent more than half of the nation’s population, nearly two-thirds of the economy, and more than half of the country’s emissions.

“Tackling climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time,” Schill said. “Solving this problem requires a massive coalition working at all levels of our nation and across the world. The University of Oregon is pleased to contribute to those efforts in our campus operations and through our teaching, research and service to our community.”

The reaffirmation of the pledge comes alongside Provost Patrick Phillips’ campuswide environmental initiative, which will amplify the university’s existing strengths in environmental research and teaching to help meet the climate challenge. The provost’s office recently created a website that describes the initiative and showcases the UO’s leadership in the area.

While the United States officially exited the Paris Agreement on Nov. 4, the incoming Biden-Harris administration has committed to reentering the global agreement. The statement was delivered to the Biden-Harris team, as well as to United Nations officials and global heads of state at the Climate Ambition Summit hosted by the United Kingdom, also on Dec. 12.  

“This commitment reinforces the goals set by our campus Climate Action Plan,” said Steve Mital, director of the UO Office of Sustainability. “It calls all in our campus community, and beyond, to work together to address the significant challenges posed by climate change.”

View the statement and signatories at the America Is All In website