Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CGCC president to present at national climate change summit

Maricopa Community Colleges will be well represented at the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) 2014 Summit on Climate Leadership in Boston on October 1-3. Chandler-Gilbert Community College President Linda Lujan will join Irene Kovala and Jan Gehler, presidents of Glendale Community College and Scottsdale Community College respectively as well as more than 250 college and university leaders from across the nation.

Lujan, who serves on the ACUPCC Steering Committee, will present two sessions at the summit including Sustainability in Conservative Communities and Presidential Reflections and Summit Conclusion: A Central Question About Scaling Up.

The ACUPCC Summit reflects the centrality of higher education’s role in preparing new generations to meet the challenges of climate change. The program focuses 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.

"Sustainability is a far-reaching, complex concept and topic that has far more relevancy to education than many people realize,” said Lujan, who also serves on the American Association of Community Colleges Sustainability Task Force. “Not only can higher education directly influence sustainability research and practice in classrooms and labs, but as business entities, colleges and universities can model best practices in sustainability. We can also serve as a catalyst and convener for important conversations all dimensions of the subject. It's an honor to represent the Maricopa Community College District in this work."

More than 680 colleges and universities in the U.S. are current ACUPCC signatories, representing all 50 states, 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 is a key opportunity for ACUPCC presidents and their sustainability teams to work together to shape higher education’s critical role in advancing sustainability and addressing climate change at the national level,” said Portland State University President Wim Wiewel, chair of the ACUPCC Steering Committee. “The launch of the National Climate Assessment this past spring has given us a clear mandate and an excellent springboard for climate action. It’s imperative for higher education to respond and help lead our society in defining and achieving a sustainable future.”

The summit was designed by a group of 30 college and university presidents with the support of a committee of seven local institutions, and is organized into five tracks . CO2 impact from attendee travel, meeting space, and guest accommodations is being offset through purchase by The Revere Hotel of carbon offsets from Native Energy, Inc.

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