Northwestern signs national White House climate pledge

Peter Kotecki, Assistant Campus Editor

Ahead of the United Nations conference on climate change in December, Northwestern signed President Barack Obama’s American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge.

The University joined more than 200 campuses to show support for climate action by leaders at the climate conference in Paris, the White House said in a statement.

“Today’s actions are a great step forward in highlighting American leadership on climate action and ensuring a successful global agreement on climate change next month,” the White House said.

In a letter to administrators, University President Morton Schapiro said NU is proud to join the initiative. Since its 2010 baseline, the University has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent, he said.

“Northwestern University pledges to bring together the scientific research of our faculty, the entrepreneurial leadership of our students and the living laboratories of our campuses in order to advance marketable global energy and sustainability solutions,” Schapiro said in a news release.

Schapiro said NU will continue to grow existing programs, including the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center, the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, the Solar Fuels Institute and the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.

In response to an invitation for signing the climate pledge, the University put together an interdisciplinary team comprising academic and non-academic members across areas including engineering, business and life science, said vice president for facilities management John D’Angelo, who will coordinate NU’s climate-related work with the White House.

“Part of that is to take advantage of Northwestern’s wonderful culture of the ‘and’ — where we do put together very thoughtful academic and operation programs that are generally interdisciplinary,” D’Angelo told The Daily. “What we have committed to do is to continue to expand those opportunities.”

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