President F. Javier Cevallos, along with over 170 other education leaders, has signed an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump urging him to take climate change seriously, according to Cevallos.
“Quite frankly, we have to be worried about climate change. It is happening. You cannot deny it is happening,” said Cevallos.
The letter was organized by Second Nature, a non-profit organization that works with colleges and universities on sustainability.
It asks the Trump administration to take “aggressive climate action; to reduce our sector’s carbon pollution, to support interdisciplinary climate education, and to continue research that expands our understanding of rapidly changing earth systems.”
More specifically, the letter called for participation in the Paris Agreement, federal and academic research on climate change and investments in the low carbon economy.
Framingham State has its own Climate Action Plan, which was implemented in 2007 and has been updated every year since.
The plan calls climate change the “consummate challenge of the 21st century” and pledges to mitigate its consumption.
It outlines the University’s plans for new investments, consolidation of environmental campus concerns, changes in lifestyle, coordination of policies, purchasing and curricula and for the University to improve the use of its existing resources.
According to Carl Hakansson, the University’s sustainability coordinator, the University has “accomplished a lot” in terms of combating climate change.
The University’s power plant fuel has been converted from oil to natural gas, dining services is now fully compostable, solar panels have been added to the McCarthy and Athletic centers building and the amount of power received from renewable energy resources has increased from 1 percent to 17 percent, according to Hakansson.
He added this year, administrators would like to see an increase in student involvement in activities such as recycling.
Additionally, North Hall, West Hall and Hemenway labs are all LEED certified, according to Cevallos.
Cevallos said, “As individuals, I think that we have to do our part to try to protect the environment.”
He added, “I think we have a responsibility to future generations as well.”