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Penn State Endorses International Universities Climate Alliance Letter

Penn State joined 37 universities this week in signing a letter urging global leaders to protect humans from climate change.

The letter, drafted by the International Universities Climate Alliance, urges leaders “to heed expert advice, to act with urgency, and to prioritize investments strategically” about climate change.

The letter, called Climate Alliance’s Declaration to the G20 Leaders,” is addressed mostly to G20 nations and expresses that these nations represent 85% of global gross domestic product. They are also responsible for almost 80% of global CO2 emissions, 95% of the world’s coal consumption, and more than 70% of oil and gas consumption.

“I’m proud of our sustainability work in everything from agriculture to business models to the arts and humanities,” Penn State President Eric Barron said in a release. “We recognize that climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our world. We also know that the probability of discovering solutions for climate change is far greater if we work together.”

The letter also expresses the need to transition to a carbon-neutral economy. It encourages leaders to make sure that COVID-19 stimulus effort measures keep their countries’ commitments to the Paris Agreement and work for a net-zero emission plan.

“While the situation is dire, we now know that we can reverse climate change,” said Tom Richard, director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment. “Energy efficiency, renewables, carbon-smart farming, and sustainable forestry are already cost-effective. These and other solutions are proven strategies that not only reduce atmospheric CO2 but also create jobs and can reinvigorate the economy. Investments in innovation and implementation of these solutions provide a path to a sustainable future.”

The alliance, which Penn State has been a member of since 2019, represents international research universities in climate science. It provides a central hub to share recent climate change research with the public and enable collaboration between research teams, global leaders, policymakers, and industry about planning and responding to climate change.

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About the Author

Renata Daou

Renata is a sophomore majoring in International Politics and one of Onward State's contributors. She's from Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil and no, she doesn't live in the middle of the Amazon forest. She likes learning new languages, reading, writing, and talking about the one time she went bungee jumping.
Follow her on Twitter @renatadaou to see her rant in Portenglish


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