UO reaffirms it will stay ambitious in acting on climate change

Greenland fjord filled with ice (Photo by Rosemary Camozzi)

The University of Oregon has signed on as a member of We Are Still In, a national organization with hundreds of members across the country, including cities, states, businesses and universities, that remain committed to taking action to fight climate change.

President Michael H. Schill made the UO’s membership official after releasing a statement on the recent decision for the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, in which member countries determine, plan and regularly report their emissions reduction contributions to mitigate global warming.

On June 2, Schill issued a statement reaffirming UO’s commitment to the issue, which read:

“As a national leader in sustainability and environmental research and innovation, the University of Oregon recognizes that climate change is real and one of the defining scientific and social challenges of our times. The UO remains committed to leading and pioneering research and academic initiatives focused on finding creative solutions to the world’s environmental challenges. The UO will continue its efforts to advance sustainable stewardship of our resources, including promoting responsible purchasing, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing solid and hazardous waste production, and promoting sustainable and efficient campus planning and design.” 

The university’s leadership in this arena touches all corners of campus and around the world.

UO is home to ranked programs in environmental law, sustainable business, and sustainable design. Graduates of UO’s interdisciplinary environmental sciences, studies, and policy program go on to teach in some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions. The UO was an early and influential contributor to the creation and development of green chemistry.

In addition, UO has many faculty working on the front lines of environmental issues, as well as the Office of Sustainability, which leads the integration of sustainability into the UO's operations, curriculum, co-curricular programs, research and engagement with the broader community.

“Climate change is real,” said sustainability director Steve Mital. “We must demonstrate good stewardship of our natural resources and do all that we can to help reduce the human carbon footprint, locally and globally.”

By Tobin J. Klinger, University Communications