The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment has confirmed the election of five new co-chairs and seventeen new members to its Steering Committee during the 2010 ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Denver on October 13. Haywood Community College President Dr. Rose H. Johnson will serve as one of the seventeen steering committee members.

Launched in early 2007, the ACUPCC is a network of 675 colleges and universities in all fifty states and the District of Columbia - representing nearly six million students, about one third of the US higher education student population. The program is led by a Steering Committee comprised of twenty-nine university and college presidents and is staffed and supported by Second Nature, a Boston-based national nonprofit organization.

According to Anthony Cortese, President of Second Nature and Coordinator of the ACUPCC, "There was tremendous interest in serving on the Committee this year among the ACUPCC presidents - it's just one more indicator of how this initiative and the sustainability movement are generating excitement on campuses and throughout the higher education sector in unprecedented ways."

With all kinds of institution types - large and small; public and private; two-year and four-year; research, liberal arts, and technical; historically black colleges, tribal colleges, and Hispanic-serving institutions - from twenty-two states, the ACUPCC Steering Committee embodies a broad representation of the higher education sector in the US.

The ACUPCC is the first effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality - not just a percent reduction in emissions - as its target. With inertia at the federal and international levels on climate change policy, the ACUPCC network highlights the leadership of the sector as a whole, and now serves as a role model for regional, national, and international initiatives.

While contributing to the collective action of the ACUPCC, each institution retains the autonomy to chart its own course and set its own pace towards achieving climate neutrality and educating for sustainability. More than 320 institution-specific climate action plans have been submitted to date and are available for public viewing at <u></u>.

"The hundreds of ACUPCC institutions employing a wide variety of solutions to move our society towards climate neutrality and sustainability are absolutely critical to rebuilding our economy and helping meet the basic needs of people everywhere, today and in the future," said Cortese. "We at Second Nature look forward to continuing to support the ACUPCC network under the governance of the new Steering Committee."

The ACUPCC is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate.

Second Nature works to accelerate movement toward a sustainable future by serving and supporting senior college and university leaders in making healthy, just, and sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. Second Nature is the lead supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, a growing network of over 630 signatory higher education institutions in all fifty states that have made a public commitment to neutralize their greenhouse gas emissions and transform their curricula to educate all students to contribute to solving the climate crisis.