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Faculty Senate Passes Climate Justice Action Resolution

04/13/21 - BOSTON, MA: Spring blooms on the Boston campus on April 13, 2021. Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

On April 21, 2021, the Northeastern faculty senate passed a resolution advancing the university’s commitment to demonstrating leadership in climate justice action. This initiative links Northeastern’s strengths in sustainability and resilience with the university’s engagement with racial justice and social justice.

The resolution resulted from the work of the Climate Justice Action Planning Committee that involved multiple SPPUA faculty and SPPUA faculty affiliates, including Professors Ted Landsmark, Joan Fitzgerald, Auroop Ganguly, Rebecca Riccio, Brian Helmuth, Kelsey Pieper, and Jennie Stephens. See the full presentation here.

Climate Justice Action Resolution

WHEREAS Northeastern University is a global leader in experiential education and research with intersecting commitments to sustainability, resilience, social justice, and racial justice,

WHEREAS anchor institutions like Northeastern are contributing to both climate change and racial inequities through our policies, processes and practices

WHEREAS the impacts of climate disruptions and the capacity to adapt are distributed unequally among and within local and global communities

WHEREAS equitable climate adaptation and strengthening climate resilience requires new transformative investments, innovations, and actions to rectify the disproportionate burdens on those who are most vulnerable

 WHEREAS climate justice action involves striving for transformative systemic changes that link technological and social innovation prioritizing social, racial, and economic justice

WHEREAS we endorse the College of Science resolution to support the climate experts who warn of the serious consequences of global climate change caused by human activity, and acknowledge our continued investment in fossil fuels is undermining Northeastern’s role as a leader in sustainability.

BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate calls on University leadership to: 

Establish a standing faculty committee on climate justice action appointed by the faculty senate to provide continual assessment and feedback on university strategy, investments, policies, practices and processes.  We call on senior leadership to collaborate, consult and engage with that committee.  

Demonstrate leadership in climate justice through our actions as an anchor institution in our research, teaching, experiential learning, investments (managing our endowment), campus operations, and our engagement with the cities and communities in which our campuses are located. 

Take the clear step of divesting itself from fossil fuels within two years.

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