The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, along with the University of Washington, convened a virtual forum on the impact universities and colleges can have on climate change and sustainability.
The main themes included making campuses more sustainable, educating students on clean industries, serving as a proving ground for climate solutions, and the importance of working with local communities.
“Many of your institutions have climate actions or resilience planning underway,” said Mary Frances Repko, Deputy National Climate Advisor. “I’m proud to let you know that the federal government is here to help you scale and to implement those efforts. You have a critical role to play in the clean energy transition…with the example that you set with your everyday operations.”
Todd Crowl, the director of FIU’s Institute of Environment, moderated one of the panels alongside other university leaders. He noted that the meeting’s location in the White House reflects its importance.
“I think that sends a really strong message,” Crowl said. “That this administration and these funding agencies really think it’s time now for us to act and sort of this way of making universities the bastion of hope for how we are gonna attack climate change.”
The two-day event continues with a workshop hosted by the University of the District of Columbia where different faculties can network with government and funding agencies.