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A statement on behalf of the Duke Climate Coalition regarding the September 29th Climate Commitment announcement

(10/01/22 4:00am)

On the global stage, Duke is known for its public commitments to sustainability and the advancement of climate science and conservation. Much of the research that Duke does is, in fact, at the forefront of discovery in this field. The recent Climate Commitment announcement, however, demonstrates that we are still falling short of Gold Standard university climate action. During the kickoff event, members of the Duke administration emphasized their commitment to focus more on energy transformation, climate and community resilience, environmental justice, and data-driven climate solutions. To be clear, this expansion of Duke’s climate action plan is a great step forward, and we are grateful to the people who have spent so much energy on making Duke a leader in the environmental field. Still, the ceremony notably failed to mention the Board of Trustees’ refusal to divest the Duke endowment from fossil fuel companies, thus implying that the university will maintain its position as a financial supporter of the fossil fuel industry. While this announcement is no surprise considering the Duke administration’s history of failing to fully commit to combatting the climate crisis, the Duke Climate Coalition and the Divest Duke team are nonetheless disappointed. We know that the university can do better.

Letter to the editor

(11/02/17 4:56pm)

On Oct. 9, the Trump administration announced its decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan. The CPP was one of the most important measures the U.S. has taken against carbon pollution, which is why its rejection represents a severe threat to both the climate and human health. Finalized by the Obama administration in 2015, the CPP would have cut U.S. carbon emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. It would have given each state the flexibility to meet its carbon reduction goals with options such as switching from coal to natural gas or building new renewable energy infrastructure.