"We Are Still In"

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“We Are Still In” 

About “We Are Still In”

“We Are Still In” is a joint statement written by U.S. governors, mayors, CEO’s, and higher education leaders that resolutely affirms the nation’s commitment to climate action despite the federal government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. This is the first time that these sectors have publicly come together to amplify and strengthen their support for climate action, which is vital to our country’s future.

The statement asserts that:

  1. In the absence of federal support, states, cities, colleges, universities and businesses will pursue ambitious climate goals, to ensure that the United States remains a global leader in reducing emissions.
  2. In the United States, those who possess the necessary leadership to meet our Paris Agreement commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges, universities and businesses.
  3. The United States will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to slow global warming to under 2°C and accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our shared security, prosperity, and health.

Who can join?

Over 300 institutions of higher education, 9 states, 200 cities and counties, and over 1,000 businesses have signed the “We Are Still In” declaration. Altogether this coalition represents over 120 million Americans and $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy. But this is not enough.

Colleges and universities are uniquely situated at the forefront of the campaign against climate change because they represent the greatest stakeholders in the climate action battle: youth. If the course of climate change is not addressed now, young people will inherit a plethora of humanitarian, economic, and environmental crises. By pledging their continued support to the Paris Agreement, colleges and universities can fulfill their duty to create a brighter future for the youth of today.

If the President or Chancellor of your college or university is interested in signing the “We Are Still In” letter, they can send a message (or be cc’ed on a message) to commitments@secondnature.org that includes a quote highlighting your institution’s reason for participating in this campaign. Participation is limited to accredited, degree granting higher education institutions listed in IPEDS. More information on how your college or university can get involved can be found here.

Suggested Events and Activities

Visit the “We Are Still In” website to see if your college or university has signed the declaration.

If not, here are ways you can raise awareness about “We Are Still In” and the Paris Agreement:

  • Meet with your university President or other senior administrators to discuss the declaration. They might not be aware of it, or they have hesitations that you can discuss with them.
  • Educate your fellow students by setting up an info table or passing out info materials. The more student support you have, the stronger your voice will be.
  • Lobby your student government association to legislate a resolution in support of the Paris Agreement that calls upon your school’s senior administrators to take action.
  • Talk to professors in relevant fields (environmental science, biology, political science, etc.) and see if they will discuss the agreement and its potential effects in their courses.
  • Research and reach out to board members to see if any of them have a vested interest in climate action. They will be a strong ally to your cause.

If your college or university is already a signatory, you can also advocate for its continued support:

  • Raise awareness of the agreement on campus. Celebrate the fact that your school is taking a strong stance on climate action! Write an op-ed for your school newspaper, publish an open thank you letter to your president, or highlight your school’s efforts on social media.
  • Host panel discussions with experts on climate change to discuss impact of the Paris Agreement and climate actions as well as new technologies that are helping address climate change.
  • Host roundtable discussions with students of varied political backgrounds to discuss the importance of staying committed to the Paris Agreement.
  • Hold “green” competitions that motivate students to reduce your school’s environmental footprint. These can be held between dorms, Greek organizations, academic departments, etc.
  • Work with your school’s sustainability office to educate students about what your school is already doing to reduce its carbon footprint, and how they can continue to help.
  • Fundraise for climate action non-profits or raise money to invest in green technology for your school.
  • Host a film screening for documentaries discussing climate change. “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”, the follow- up to “An Inconvenient Truth”, was recently released and discusses the drafting process and U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

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