Fisher Joins Call Endorsing Carbon Pricing as Solution to Climate Change
May 16, 2019
Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of St. John Fisher College, joined college and university presidents from across the country in endorsing carbon pricing for its economy-wide approach to lowering greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
During a brief ceremony on Wednesday, May 8, President Rooney, who was joined by Fisher students and faculty and representatives of Our Climate, signed an open letter urging state and federal lawmakers to proactively work to enact legislation that would put a price on carbon emissions and transition to a clean energy economy.
“The College’s support for the Carbon Pricing Endorsement Initiative is the culmination of efforts led by our students. I am grateful for their thoughtful and collaborative approach and am proud to see Fisher students take bold action to address one of today’s pressing issues,” Rooney said.
The letter urges elected representatives to “act collectively on behalf of current and future generations by putting a price on carbon” and promotes carbon pricing as an “indispensable step we can take to effectively combat climate change.”
Fisher joined the effort in large part due to the work of undergraduate students from the Political Action Club including Gabriella Kielbasinski ’19, Brenna Sherman ’19, Avery Ryan ’21, and Morgan Bajish ’21, who worked for a year and a half generating student support through petitioning and club endorsements.
“Climate change is overwhelming, it can seem like there simply isn't enough time or people willing to make the change,” Kielbasinski said. “Initiatives like this give me hope.”
The club also held three meetings with Rooney, Linda Steinkirchner, vice president for finance and chief financial officer; and Ken Widanka, director of facilities services, to discuss the impacts of carbon pricing on operating costs and the campus’ environmental footprint.
Dr. Kathleen Donovan, assistant professor of political science, who advises the Political Action Club, praised the students for feeling empowered to make positive change. “As a citizen, advocating for this endorsement was an important and meaningful experience in thinking globally, acting locally,” she said.
The Higher Education Carbon Pricing Endorsement Initiative is led by Our Climate and Years of Living Dangerously. Our Climate mobilizes and empowers young people to educate the public and elected officials about science-based, equitable climate policy solutions that build a livable world. It leads the #PutAPriceOnIt campaign which recruit, train, and support student leaders across the country to advocate for carbon pricing.