Presidents of Thirty Colleges and Universities Call on Higher Education Peers to Support Carbon Pricing as a Solution to Climate Change


May 8, 2017

Presidents of Thirty Colleges and Universities Call on Higher Education Peers to Support Carbon Pricing as a Solution to Climate Change

Thirty presidents from across the country are throwing their weight behind the student-driven Put A Price On It Campaign to build national momentum for combating climate change by pricing carbon.

College and university presidents from thirty higher education institutions across the country are supporting a student-driven effort to endorse carbon pricing for its economy-wide approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The Leadership Circle of the higher education carbon pricing initiative includes the presidents of Dickinson College, Swarthmore College, Pitzer College, Wesleyan University, Vassar College and University of California Berkeley. Released Monday, the letter calls on state and federal lawmakers to work proactively to enact a carbon price at the state and federal level.

“As leaders of higher education institutions, we call upon our elected representatives to act collectively on behalf of current and future generations by putting a price on carbon,” the letter reads. “We work to prepare our students for thriving futures, over which climate change casts a dark shadow of uncertainty. Putting a price on carbon pollution is an indispensable step we can take to effectively combat climate change.”

“Colleges and universities are well positioned to address the challenge of climate change by producing and sharing conclusive research on climate change, and by educating our students and society about innovative solutions that can mitigate climate change,” said Valerie Smith, President of Swarthmore College. “Carbon pricing provides an opportunity to make an impact on a national, and potentially global level.”

“We are inviting college and university presidents to join us in calling for carbon pricing as a responsible and bipartisan response to climate change,” said Neil Weissman, Interim President of Dickinson College. “By speaking out, our institutions can help create the political will needed for action that addresses our students’ future well-being. Speaking out will also stimulate educationally meaningful debate on our campuses.”

“It’s up to our leaders on the campus, state, and federal level to advocate for solutions that will protect our generation from the true costs of climate change: extreme weather events, wildfires, drought, floods, and global conflict," said Carrie Cullen, a junior at Emerson College and Put A Price On It Fellow. “It's encouraging to see our school's president take a stance on this issue that is so important for our generation's well-being."

The Higher Education Carbon Pricing Endorsement Initiative is led by Our Climate, a youth-led organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of climate leaders. Our Climate co- leads the #PutAPriceOnIt campaign with National Geographic documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, and partners with Citizens’ Climate Education to recruit, train, and support student leaders across the country to advocate for carbon pricing.

The complete text of the letter can be found HERE.

For more information about the Higher Education Carbon Pricing Endorsement Initiative, visit

To join the list of college and university presidents endorsing carbon pricing, please contact Page Atcheson, Executive Director of Our Climate, at

If you are faculty, staff, or other leader in higher education and would like to support carbon pricing, please contact Aurora Winslade at