Oregon Higher Ed Officials Respond To US Withdrawal From Paris Agreement

Nov 7, 2019
Originally published on November 7, 2019 7:23 am

At Portland Community College, sustainability is everywhere. If it’s not part of an assignment or career-related project, it’s around a campus with eco-friendly buildings and a garden.

“What we do at PCC is to infuse the concept of sustainability and environmental justice and climate action throughout the curriculum,” PCC president Mark Mitsui said. “We then also weave it into specific career technical education programs.”

So with this week’s news of the country’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, Mitsui is ready to keep working.

“It really motivates us to double down on our efforts and to really reach out in collaboration with other parties to fill the vacuum that our federal government, through this administration, is currently leaving,” Mitsui said.

PCC is part of the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network, an organization focused on creating curriculum around climate change.

In addition to other Oregon universities, PCC ranks high in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Campus Index. PCC’s score comes from a self-reporting framework to measure sustainability efforts.

Other Oregon university leaders are speaking out against President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris accord. Lewis and Clark president Wim Wiewel stressed the need for colleges, nonprofits and government to continue a commitment to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.

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