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Emerson College Participates in Presidential Climate Leadership

(September 29, 2014) BOSTON, MA—Emerson College will participate in the 2014 American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Presidential Summit on Climate Leadership, which takes place September 30–October 3 at the Revere Hotel, 200 Stuart Street in Boston. The Summit will bring together more than 250 college and university leaders from across the United States to focus on ways to strengthen campus climate action and sustainability initiatives, as well as higher education’s leadership role in developing strategic responses to climate and sustainability challenges in community, regional, and national contexts. Most Summit participants, including Emerson College, are signatories of the ACUPCC.

On Friday, October 3, 1:00–2:30 pm, Emerson will host a presentation in the Semel Theater for Summit attendees and the Emerson community. Al Gore Climate Leader Josef Mantl, who was a Fulbright scholar at Emerson (2006–2008), will discuss updates on climate change since the 2006 release of Davis Guggenheim’s film An Inconvenient Truth, which documents former Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to raise public awareness about global warming. Mantl will be joined by fellow Al Gore Climate Leaders State Senator Marc Pacheco of Taunton, Massachusetts, and EcoMotion Principal Sierra Flanigan. Seating is first come, first served; tickets will be available in the lower lobby of Tufte starting at 12:30. There will be a reception with the speakers in the Semel lobby after the presentation. Refreshments will be provided.

Convened by Second Nature, Inc., the supporting organization for the ACUPCC, the Summit reflects the centrality of higher education’s role in preparing new generations to meet the challenges of climate change. The program focuses on ways to build on the success of climate action plans and sustainability initiatives on ACUPCC campuses and develop solutions to the most pressing environmental problems facing our communities.

More than 680 colleges and universities in the United States are current ACUPCC signatories, representing all 50 states; Washington, DC; and every category of public and private higher education institution. These signatories are committed to achieving carbon neutrality and represent more than 6.5 million students—one third of all college students in the nation.

Emerson College President Lee Pelton, who will host the welcome reception on campus for Summit attendees, emphasizes the College’s commitment to sustainability. “Whether it’s achieving LEED certification for facilities or phasing out bottled water on campus, we want to encourage a culture of sustainability, both on campus and off, and will continue to look for opportunities to be a leading higher education institution in creating sustainable experiences,” said President Pelton.

“The Summit is a key opportunity for ACUPCC presidents and their sustainability teams to work together to shape higher education’s critical role in advancing sustainability and addressing climate change at the national level,” said Portland State University President Wim Wiewel, Chair of the ACUPCC Steering Committee. “The launch of the National Climate Assessment this past spring has given us a clear mandate and an excellent springboard for climate action. It’s imperative for higher education to respond and help lead our society in defining and achieving a sustainable future.”

The 2014 Summit was designed by a group of 30 college and university presidents with the support of a committee of seven local institutions, and is organized into five tracks: Knowledge and Solutions for a Changing Climate, Higher Education’s Climate Leadership Imperative, Creating a Campus Culture of Sustainability, Investment Strategies and Institutional Risks, and Corporate Partnerships for Climate Leadership—along with a session on the Alliance for Resilient Campuses, Second Nature’s newest initiative focused on climate resilience.

Highlights include keynote addresses by Brian Swett, chief of environment and energy for the City of Boston, and Kate Gordon, executive director of The Risky Business Project. Kathy Jacobs, director of the Center for Climate Change Adaptation Science and Solutions and former director of the U. S. National Climate Assessment, is speaking about and facilitating discussions about climate resilience throughout the event.

CO2 impact from attendee travel, meeting space, and guest accommodations is being offset through purchase by The Revere Hotel of carbon offsets from Native Energy, Inc. Summit sponsors include Xerox, Cenergistic, Altenex, and ecoAmerica. For more information about the Summit, visit http://www.secondnature.org/resources/summit-2014.

About Emerson College

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,660 undergraduates and 829 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 80 student organizations and performance groups, 14 NCAA teams, student publications, honor societies, television stations including the Emerson Channel, and WERS-FM, the nation’s highest rated student-run radio station. Emerson is internationally known for its study and internship programs in Los Angeles; Washington, DC; the Netherlands; London; China; and the Czech Republic. For more information, visit www.emerson.edu.

About Second Nature

Second Nature works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society beginning with the transformation of higher education. It is the supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an intensive partnership among more than 680 higher education institutions committed to climate neutrality. ACUPCC institutions work to accelerate education, research, and community engagement to equip society to re-stabilize Earth’s climate while setting an example by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations.
Learn more at: www.secondnature.org and www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.