Presidents of Over Thirty Colleges and Universities Call on Higher Education Peers to Support Carbon Pricing as a Solution to Climate Change

Over Thirty presidents from across the country are throwing their weight behind the student-driven Put A Price On It Campaign to build national momentum for combatting climate change by pricing carbon.


College and university presidents from over thirty higher education institutions across the country are giving their support to a student-driven effort to endorse carbon pricing for its economy-wide approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The Leadership Circle of the higher education carbon pricing initiative includes the presidents of Swarthmore College, Dickinson College, Pitzer College, Wesleyan University, Vassar College and University of California Berkeley. The letter released Monday calls on state and federal lawmakers to proactively work to enact a carbon price at the state and federal level.

“As leaders of higher education institutions, we call upon our elected representatives to act collectively on behalf of current and future generations by putting a price on carbon,” the letter reads. “We work to prepare our students for thriving futures, over which climate change casts a dark shadow of uncertainty. Putting a price on carbon pollution is an indispensable step we can take to effectively combat climate change.”

“Colleges and universities are well positioned to address the challenge of climate change by producing and sharing conclusive research on climate change, and by educating our students and society about innovative solutions that can mitigate climate change,” said Valerie Smith, President of Swarthmore College.  “Carbon pricing provides an opportunity to make an impact on a national, and potentially global level.” 

“We are inviting college and university presidents to join us in calling for carbon pricing as a responsible and bipartisan response to climate change,” said Neil Weissman, Interim President of Dickinson College. “By speaking out, our institutions can help create the political will needed for action that addresses our students’ future well-being. Speaking out will also stimulate educationally meaningful debate on our campuses.”

“It’s up to our leaders on the campus, state, and federal level to advocate for solutions that will protect our generation from the true costs of climate change: extreme weather events, wildfires, drought, floods, and global conflict," said Carrie Cullen, a junior at Emerson College and Put A Price On It Fellow. “It's encouraging to see our school's president take a stance on this issue that is so important for our generation's well-being."

The Higher Education Carbon Pricing Endorsement Initiative is led by Our Climate, a youth-led organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of climate leaders. Our Climate co-leads the #PutAPriceOnIt campaign with National Geographic documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, and partners with Citizens’ Climate Education to recruit, train, and support student leaders across the country to advocate for carbon pricing.   

The complete text of the letter can be found HERE.   


For more information about the Higher Education Carbon Pricing Endorsement Initiative, go to

To join the list of college and university presidents endorsing carbon pricing, please contact Page Atcheson, Executive Director of Our Climate, at

Fir the full list of universities and colleges, go to

If you are faculty, staff, or other leader in higher education and would like to support carbon pricing, please contact Aurora Winslade at

If you are a student and would like to join Put A Price On It, please contact Cassidy Jones, Program Director of Our Climate, at

Interviews with Presidents can be scheduled upon request.

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE SCHOOLS INCLUDE: Swarthmore, California State University Sacramento, Dickinson, Wesleyan University, Portland State, Smith, Vassar, Barnard, Franklin and Marshall, Colgate, Pomona, Pitzer, Macalester, Green Mountain, UC Berkeley, California State University Northridge, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Haverford, Emerson, Bennington, Connecticut College, California State University Chico, Unity, Purchase College (SUNY), Lebanon Valley College, Fordham, Chatham, Muhlenberg, Bard College, Central Community College Nebraska, Mount Holyoke, Loyola University Chicago, and Wellesley. 


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