OSU President Edward J. Ray wrote this statement on June 6, 2017, announcing the university’s continued commitment to addressing climate change.
Faculty, staff and students,
Last week, the Trump administration announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation. I want to assure the Oregon State University community that we remain steadfast in our resolve to advance our institution’s commitments toward the global challenge of climate change. We are resolute in our work to reduce the institution’s carbon footprint; to pursue world-class research that improves knowledge and informs strategic actions; and to empower our students and communities through education and capacity building.
Ten years ago – in April, 2007 – I signed what was then known as the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, now known as the Carbon Commitment. It set Oregon State on an ambitious path to reduce and ultimately eliminate the university’s planet-altering institutional carbon emissions.
Over the last decade, OSU has reduced its annual per-student carbon emissions 38 percent. We must proactively continue to invest to decrease these emissions even further, and thus we have no intention to reduce or defer our commitment to climate action. Additionally, as a sun grant university, we are committed to continuing our research efforts to develop renewable and low-carbon sources of energy including wave, wind, nuclear and solar energy systems.
As the home of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, OSU also participates in a network of more than 150 researchers throughout the state, including partners in state and federal agencies, who are on the forefront of working to find solutions to many climate issues.
Reducing carbon emissions is a shared task. We can each participate in OSU’s strategic efforts around institutional emissions, as well as take simple personal steps to help. To participate in Oregon State’s strategic initiatives, visit this link for the new Carbon Planning Toolkit for university units. For an approximate measurement of your own emissions and tips on how to reduce them, please see this customized carbon footprint calculator for members of the OSU community. If you have further questions, please contact Brandon Trelstad via email or at 541-737-3307.
Let me assure you that we are unwavering in our commitment to address climate change, one of the world’s most pressing issues. We will continue to be a strong partner and collaborate with other universities, cities, states, and key federal entities. With our collective and continued resolve in these efforts, I am confident that Oregon State will continue to be a leader in climate change research and sustainability to provide a healthy planet for all of us.
Edward J. Ray