A recent synthesis report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal" 1 and that "most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations."1
As an institution of higher education that continually strives to provide our students with coursework, learning and living environments relevant to contemporary issues, we must address the impacts associated with global climate change. "In 2006, after a year-long process of thoughtful discussion on campus and within several of its committees, our Board of Trustees approved, with great enthusiasm, a resolution to adopt a commitment to the environment as a core University value."
This commitment was the beginning of a deepening focus on issues of environmental sustainability and it guided the University down a path that less than a year later manifested itself in the signing of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. President Emeritus Daniel F. Sullivan stated that "this institutional commitment to living and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle extends from our curriculum to procedural, procurement and building efforts aimed at reducing consumption and waste while increasing energy efficiency. I'm pleased to be included in the Presidents Climate Commitment Leadership Circle, strengthening our long-standing belief in environmental stewardship."
By signing this measure, St. Lawrence has joined other institutions of higher education in striving for climate neutrality, operations with zero-net greenhouse gas emissions, and education across the curriculum and within the local community on the issues and solutions of global climate change.
1 IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I,II, and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chanage [Core Writing Team, Pachauri, R.K., and Reisinger, A. (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 104 pp.