press release courtesy of Second Nature
Montgomery County Community College’s Associate Vice President for Facilities and Construction Jaime Garrido attended the 2014 Presidential Summit on Climate Leadership in Boston, Mass. Oct. 1-3. He joined more than 250 college and university leaders across the United States in focusing on ways to strengthen campus climate action and sustainability initiatives, as well as higher education’s leadership role in developing strategic responses to climate and sustainability challenges in community, regional and national contexts. Like Montgomery, most Summit participants represent signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
Convened by Second Nature, Inc., the supporting organization for the ACUPCC, the Summit reflected the centrality of higher education’s role in preparing new generations to meet the challenges of climate change. The program focused on ways to build on the success of climate action plans and sustainability initiatives on ACUPCC campuses and develop solutions to the most pressing environmental problems facing our communities.
A total of 684 colleges and universities in the U. S. are current ACUPCC signatories, representing all 50 states, Washington D.C., and every category of public and private higher education institution. These signatories are committed to achieving carbon neutrality and represent more than 6.5 million students–one third of all college students in the nation.
The Summit was designed by a group of 30 college and university presidents with the support of a committee of seven local institutions, and was organized into five tracks: Knowledge and Solutions for a Changing Climate, Higher Education’s Climate Leadership Imperative, Creating a Campus Culture of Sustainability, Investment Strategies and Institutional Risks, and Corporate Partnerships for Climate Leadership–along with a session on the Alliance for Resilient Campuses, Second Nature’s newest initiative focused on climate resilience.
Highlights included keynote addresses by Brian Swett, Chief of Environment and Energy for the City of Boston, and Kate Gordon, Executive Director of The Risky Business Project. Kathy Jacobs, Director of the Center for Climate Change Adaptation Science and Solutions and former Director of the U. S. National Climate Assessment, is speaking about and facilitating discussions about climate resilience throughout the event.
CO2 impact from attendee travel, meeting space, and guest accommodations was offset through purchase by The Revere Hotel of carbon offsets from Native Energy, Inc. Summit sponsors include Xerox, Cenergistic, Altenex, and ecoAmerica.