Swarthmore College Commits to Upholding Paris Accord
President Valerie Smith joined over 180 leaders in higher education and over 1,000 leaders in the U.S. in declaring their intent to continue to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions.
The signatories of We Are Still In are delivering concrete emissions reductions that will help meet America’s emissions pledge under the Paris Agreement, despite the federal government’s decision to withdraw from this international climate accord.
Signatories include leaders from 125 cities, nine states, 902 businesses and investors, and 183 colleges and universities. No single individual or group is leading the We Are Still In movement. It is an organic, bottom-up coalition of cities, states, businesses and universities that are standing together for the first time ever to announce that they will work together to maintain U.S. leadership on climate change and clean energy.
With its inclusion, Swarthmore continues to be at the forefront of environmental and sustainability efforts.
This spring, the College took on a leadership role in the Put A Price On It campaign, which supports carbon pricing as a matter of policy and has received support from the worlds of higher education, politics, business, and entertainment, For this initiative, Swarthmore is a finalist for the 2017 International Sustainable Campus Network Sustainable Campus Excellence Award.
In 2016, the College's Board of Managers approved a $300,000 carbon charge, which affects the budget of each department on campus to make the full cost of emitting carbon visible. In 2015, five students and two faculty members were part of an interdisciplinary delegation that attended the Paris Climate Talks. That same year, the Board approved a sustainability framework that prescribes a green approach to sustainable buildings, stormwater management, and the reduction of carbon and energy use on campus. Additionally, the Office of Sustainability, the Sustainability Committee, the Green Advisors Program, The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, and a multitude of student groups work on environmental issues on campus and in the wider community.