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UMD Joins Top Research Universities to Form International Coalition to Accelerate Local Climate Action

February 6, 2018
Contacts: 

Natifia Mullings, 301-405-4076

COLLEGE PARK, Md-- The University of Maryland today announced it has joined 12 other research universities across North America in the University Climate Change Coalition, UC3, a group committed to leveraging their research and resources to help communities accelerate climate action. 

Launched on February 6 at the 2018 Second Nature Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit in Tempe, Arizona, UC3 members from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico have committed to mobilize their resources and expertise to help businesses, cities and states achieve their climate goals through various activities, including: 

Cross-sector forums: Every UC3 institution will convene a climate change forum in 2018 to bring together community and business leaders, elected officials and other local stakeholders. Meetings will be tailored to meet local and regional objectives shared across sectors and will aim to speed the implementation of research-driven climate policies and solutions. 

Coalition climate mitigation and adaptation report: A coalition-wide report, to be released in late 2018, will synthesize the best practices, policies and recommendations from all UC3 forums into a framework for continued progress on climate change goals across the nation and the world. 

“As consumers, grassroots organizations, communities, businesses and states all have the power and responsibility to make a difference on climate change,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “We and other research universities are increasing sustainability on our campuses, and using scientific and policy expertise to assist communities. UC3 will extend this impact.”

All UC3 members have already pledged to reduce their institutional carbon footprints, with commitments ranging from making more climate-friendly investments to becoming operationally carbon neutral. 

UMD is working to achieve a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions (from 2005 levels) by 2020 and a 60 percent reduction by 2025. The university is dedicated to achieving carbon neutrality for all scopes of emissions by 2050 and will make major updates to its Climate Action Plan at least every five years to include strategies that are based on the best knowledge and technology available at that time.

In addition to UMD, other coalition members are Arizona State University, California Institute of Technology, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Ohio State University, the State University of New York (SUNY) system, La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, University of British Columbia, the University of California system, University of Colorado, Boulder, University of New Mexico, University of Toronto, and University of Washington.

UC3 members will operate in close partnership with Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network, a group of hundreds of colleges and universities that have committed to taking action on climate. 

In 2016, the U.S.-based members of the UC3 coalition together performed about one-quarter of the environmental science research conducted by all U.S. institutions, according to data collected by the National Science Foundation. From 2012 to 2017, researchers at UC3 member institutions were responsible for 48,518 publications on climate science-related topics, including environmental science, agricultural and biological sciences, energy, engineering, earth and planetary sciences, and more.

“Research universities play an important role in creating new knowledge, convening thought leadership, and serving as long-term community members. By applying these strengths to locally relevant climate challenges, we see transformative potential for accelerating climate solutions in these locations in a way that couldn’t happen if the institutions and sectors continued to act on their own,” said Timothy Carter, president of Second Nature.

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About the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 38,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.9 billion operating budget and secures $560 million annually in external research funding. For more information about the University of Maryland, College Park, visit www.umd.edu.

About Second Nature

Second Nature is committed to accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education. We do this by mobilizing a diverse array of higher education institutions to act on bold climate commitments, to scale campus climate initiatives, and to create innovative climate solutions. We align, amplify, and bridge the sector’s efforts with other global leaders to advance urgent climate priorities.