The Importance of Higher Education to Climate Action

The largest national gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions met from February 4th through 6th in Tempe, Arizona. The central theme chosen for the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit is “crossing sectors and driving solutions,” purposely designed to echo We Are Still In and examine how higher education can work with state and local government, businesses and other stakeholders from outside the federal government to mobilize its expertise and research and accelerate climate action across the United States.

Throughout the conference panel and workshop discussions are bringing together leaders from the sectors that have signed We Are Still In to map out partnerships and synergies for advancing local action to decrease climate risk, increase clean energy expansion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of these panel discussions will spotlight how Pittsburgh is making progress on its climate targets through a cooperative and multistakeholder model. Tune in to watch the livestream of Pittsburgh’s Cross-Sector Approach to Climate Action here.

After the US Administration’s announced intent to withdraw the United States from the international Paris Climate Agreement, Second Nature, and its Climate Leadership Network, stepped forward with other sector partners to fill the void through the We Are Still In (WASI) coalition, building a movement to catalyze local climate action across the United States and ensure America’s continued global climate leadership abroad.

At the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit Second Nature is taking the next steps to turn WASI’s cross-sector alignment into performance and action. The summit will relate big ideas to tangible actions and aims to prepare the senior leadership teams attending the conference with the knowledge, resources and partnerships needed to undertake some of the biggest climate challenges — individually, collectively with other campuses, and across sectors in their own communities and nationally.