Climate change Second Nature pledge
CSU San Marcos President Ellen Neufeldt signing the Second Nature Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment. Photo credit: Courtesy, CSU San Marcos

Cal State San Marcos President Ellen Neufeldt pledged to take the next step in climate action by signing the Second Nature Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment this week.

The Thursday signing was followed by a tree-planting ceremony in front of the University Bookstore as a symbol of the Cal State San Marcos’ dedication to sustainability efforts.

The Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment is a comprehensive roadmap for mitigating and adapting to a changing climate, one that sets high goals of sustainability for the university. Over the next few years, CSUSM will develop, implement, evaluate and adapt its climate action plan as a commitment to carbon neutrality and resilience.

The organization, Second Nature, provides resources and opportunities to network with a coalition of colleges that are leading in climate action and sustainable solutions.

“CSUSM is joining over 650 other higher education colleges and universities in not only a commitment to carbon neutrality, but the resilience of our community,” said Juliana Goodlaw-Morris, the university’s sustainability manager and a lecturer in environmental studies.

California State University has established systemwide efforts toward sustainability and climate action; 19 of the 23 CSU campuses have signed a Second Nature Climate Leadership Commitment.

San Diego State is also part of the organization’s Climate Leadership Network, as are UC San Diego, the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene.

Higher education institutions whose president or chancellor have made a formal commitment with respect to climate leadership become network signatories.

The campus strategic plan, “The Power of CSUSM,” includes sustainability and climate justice among the university’s values.

As a part of CSUSM’s sustainability master plan, students and employees have been tackling climate resilience due to concerns from wildfires, droughts and other impacts.

Neufeldt said the university’s pledge is “a recognition that in today’s intricate and interconnected world, our students must graduate not only as scholars, but as individuals with a deep awareness of how climate change and sustainability influence every facet of their lives and careers.”