Twelve of the country’s leading research universities have reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris climate change accord, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the international agreement.
The presidents of Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and nine other universities said in a joint statement Monday that universities play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, advancing the understanding as to the causes and effects of climate change on the environment, and developing solutions.
Climate change, caused primarily by greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, has led to changing weather patterns, rising sea level, and more extreme weather events around the world.
“The scientific consensus is clear that the climate is changing largely due to human activity, that the consequences of climate change are accelerating, and that the imperative of a low carbon future is increasingly urgent.”
Other schools signing the agreement include Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2015, the schools were among some 318 educational institutions to sign the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge, which committed them to increased energy efficiency; conservation of resources; and continued support of research in the fields of climate change, public health, energy, and sustainability.
On June 1, President Trump announced plans to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement. Trump argues the climate agreement has disadvantaged the U.S. and benefited other countries, leaving American businesses and taxpayers to absorb the costs.