We Demand that Scripps College Make a Carbon Commitment
We, the community, demand that Scripps College address global climate destruction and environmental injustice by signing the Second Nature Carbon Commitment, and thus joining the Climate Leadership Network. This network is comprised of over 600 colleges and universities who have pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by a specific year; we propose the year 2036, to align with the decade after the Centennial. Commitment signatories include Scripps’ four neighboring undergraduate institutions in the Claremont Consortium. Signing the Carbon Commitment would demonstrate Scripps College’s commitment to sustainability, and hold Scripps accountable for creating and following a personalized, concrete, step-by-step plan to achieve carbon neutrality.
Decreasing emissions via the Carbon Commitment is the most effective way for Scripps to begin to adapt to the severity and imminent threats of climate change. Everyone -- from individuals to institutions -- will have to engage with sustainability as climate change presents increasingly dire consequences. Climate change continues to exacerbate devastating crises such as community displacement, food shortages, wildfires, drought, and limited access to clean air and water. The effects of climate change disproportionately affect underserved communities, therefore posing a social justice issue upon which Scripps, an institution founded upon doctrines of inclusivity, equality, and empowerment, has a responsibility to act.
Scripps's mission statement acknowledges not only the importance of societal contributions through leadership, creativity, and integrity, but a commitment to these principles. Integrity requires making ethical choices, even if they are less convenient. Changing institutional structures to incorporate sustainability measures requires effort, but is worthwhile, and in this case inevitable. Developing infrastructure that reduces emissions is a returning investment that will benefit the college economically, as well as strengthen the college’s identity, character, and campus culture. In signing this Commitment, we can establish sustainability a value and priority of the College for years to come.