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Yale Pledges To Adhere To Paris Agreement

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Yale University President Peter Salovey announced Monday that Yale has joined with other major research universities to affirm their commitment to the Paris Agreement, despite President Donald Trump’s exit from the deal.

“Yale remains steadfast in its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change—among the gravest challenges our world faces in the 21st century,” Salovey stated in his message after the U.S. left the agreement. “We will continue our efforts to build a sustainable, environmentally responsible campus that is a model for other communities.”

Salovey noted that Yale adopted an ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction plan in 2005 that pledge to reduce its GHG emissions by 43 percent over the next 15 years. Yale will also soon implement a carbon charge program, among other sustainability efforts.

“The Paris climate agreement was simply a raw deal for America. Signed by President Obama without Senate ratification, it would have driven up the cost of energy, hitting middle-class and low-income Americans the hardest,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said after Trump left the agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said the move will protect jobs in the coal industry and keep energy prices low.

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Yale drafted its letter with 13 other research universities – together called the “Ivy-Plus” sustainability group – comprised of the eight Ivy League colleges and Duke, Georgetown, Stanford, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, and MIT.

“In 2015, we were proud to be among 318 institutions of higher education in signing the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge, affirming our commitment to accelerate the global transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices on our campuses,” the letter stated.

The university has committed itself to serve as a “living laboratory” for carbon pricing and it plans to build the largest rooftop solar installation in Connecticut.

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