Cal State San Marcos President Ellen Neufeldt pledged to take the next step in climate action by signing the Second Nature Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment on Aug. 17. The signing was followed by a tree-planting ceremony in front of the University Bookstore as a symbol of the university’s dedication to sustainability efforts on campus. The Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment is a comprehensive roadmap for mitigating and adapting to a changing climate, one that sets high goals of sustainability for the university. Over the next few years, CSUSM will develop, implement, evaluate and adapt its climate action plan as a commitment to carbon neutrality and resilience.
“The act of planting a tree and pledging our commitment may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but its impact is immeasurable,” Neufeldt said.
“Our journey toward sustainability – which has been part of CSUSM’s story since its founding – is more than just a promise; it’s a dedication to our students, our community and the global community we’re a part of. It’s a recognition that in today’s intricate and interconnected world, our students must graduate not only as scholars, but as individuals with a deep awareness of how climate change and sustainability influence every facet of their lives and careers.”
Second Nature provides resources and opportunities to network with a coalition of colleges that are leading in climate action and sustainable solutions. “CSUSM is joining over 650 other higher education colleges and universities in not only a commitment to carbon neutrality but the resilience of our community,” said Juliana Goodlaw-Morris, the university’s sustainability manager and a lecturer of environmental studies. California State University has established systemwide efforts toward sustainability and climate action, and 19 of the 23 CSU campuses have signed a Second Nature Climate Leadership Commitment.
CSUSM’s strategic plan, “The Power of CSUSM,” includes sustainability and climate justice among the university’s values. As a part of CSUSM’s sustainability master plan, students and employees already have been tackling climate resilience due to concerns from wildfires, droughts and other impacts of a warming world on our community. This new commitment is part of an effort to elevate and showcase the work that CSUSM is doing to ensure student success through the lens of sustainability and climate justice.
Higher education institutions whose president or chancellor have made a formal commitment with respect to climate leadership on their campus become Climate Leadership Network signatories. “I have long hoped for our campus to be one of the many signatories of this climate commitment, and I am so proud that President Neufeldt has recognized the significance and importance of committing our campus to carbon neutrality,” Goodlaw-Morris said. Second Nature is committed to accelerating climate action in, and through, higher education.
This is accomplished 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. Second Nature aims to align, amplify and bridge the sector’s efforts with other global leaders to advance urgent climate priorities.