University of Maine President Paul Ferguson has been elected to serve a two-year term on the steering committee of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). His term begins July 1.
ACUPCC is a consortium of 677 colleges and universities committed to reducing carbon emissions and aggressively promoting energy efficiency. The 33-member steering committee is ACUPCC’s chief governing body, responsible for guidance, policy and direction.
The committee convened at the Annual ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit, June 21-22 in Washington, D.C. The summit was designed to provide senior leadership at colleges and universities nationwide an opportunity to discuss how to achieve ACUPCC goals and promote sustainability on their campuses and throughout higher education. The ACUPCC also released its first five-year report at the summit
As ACUPCC signatory schools, the colleges and universities pledge to conduct annual inventories of all greenhouse gas emissions; implement immediate “tangible actions” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; develop a customized climate action plan to reach climate neutrality in operations; make sustainability a part of the educational experience for students; and to make periodic progress reports publicly available to facilitate and accelerate progress for fellow institutions and society.
In 2011, UMaine was one of three winners of ACUPCC’s Second Nature’s Leadership Award in the doctorate degree-granting university category. The award recognizes the university’s work, progress and commitment to creating a low-carbon future with UMaine constituents and the public.
UMaine has a campus wide commitment among faculty, staff, administrators and students to the mission of the university’s Sustainability Alliance. The alliance has been responsible for the UMaine climate action plan and the sustainability-focused campus master plan.
Other examples of UMaine’s climate leadership include the creation of several new graduate programs that provide opportunities for UMaine students to become environmental leaders; an infusion of $50 million from external sources to create solutions to Maine’s environmental problems through the Maine Sustainability Solutions Initiative; and research in climate change, offshore wind energy and forest biofuels.
Contact: Margaret Nagle, (207) 581-3745