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Climate Neutral

Monday, March 31, 2008

President Ralph J. Hexter Joins Growing List of Higher Education Leaders to Fight Global Warming

Hampshire College President Ralph J. Hexter has committed to sharply reducing and eventually eliminating all of the college's global warming emissions, and accelerating the research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate.

The pledge came with Hexter's signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of more than 300 institutions across the country.

"Global warming is a defining challenge of our time," said Hexter. "Human activities are responsible for the problem, and working together humans have the capacity to solve the problem. That means taking serious action today to stop adding global warming pollution to the atmosphere. Hampshire is committed to leading the way."

Hexter and a campus committee will create a comprehensive institutional action plan to move towards climate neutrality, considering actions such as requiring ENERGY STAR certification for products purchased by the college and purchasing energy from renewable sources.

These efforts will build on Hampshire's ongoing commitment to sustainability, including efforts to reduce dependency upon electricity through energy conservation measures, reduction of water use on campus and new construction being designed to green building standards.

The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality - not just a reduction - as its target. This undertaking by America's colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses.

"Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations," said Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University and a founding member of the ACUPCC Leadership Circle. "On behalf of all the signatories, I welcome President Hexter to the commitment, we are honored and pleased to have him join us."

The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate. Under the guidance and direction of the Leadership Circle of presidents, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, and ecoAmerica.

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