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Educators Seek 1% of Cap and Trade Proceeds for Green Training

cap-and-gownIf the education community has its way, it would get $1 billion in proceeds from U.S. carbon-emissions allowances to put toward education in clean energy, environmental literacy and sustainability.

Sustainability advocates in the ranks of higher education are circulating a letter among college presidents, asking for their support for a plan to set aside 1 percent of the proceeds from carbon-emissions allowances — or up to $1 billion — for  such education, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Called “1% for Education,” the letter and plan will be presented to members of the U.S. Senate, who now are debating their own version of the cap-and-trade bill recently passed by the House of Representatives.

In excess of 100 college leaders have signed the letter. The letter contains a plea to boost investment in green education in the following ways:

  1. Retool universities and colleges to become centers of education, workforce training and research in alternative energy, energy efficiency and new technologies.
  2. Revitalize K-12 education by strengthening environmental education, social studies and “STEM Education for a Sustainable Future.”
  3. Bolster career pathways programs to provide more green educational training opportunities.
  4. Retrain practicing professionals to contribute to a clean energy economy.
  5. Mount major public education programs.

“As presidents of colleges and universities across the nation, we stand ready to provide leadership in the nation’s transition to a clean-energy economy,” the letter reads. “In fact, higher education currently leads all other sectors in confronting the challenges of climate change and finding practical solutions to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Each year, our education system sends three million graduates into the work force, who need to have the skills and knowledge to contribute to and participate fully in a clean-energy economy.”

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One thought on “Educators Seek 1% of Cap and Trade Proceeds for Green Training

  1. Finally, the education community is realizing its role and potential impact on the climate change issue. For most of us who are “believers”, the science behind climate change is not new or surprising. The environmental movement had its roots decades ago, and the climate change battle did as well, although the data has continued to mount, making it all but a fact. However, at its core, the issue is one of awareness and education. Most of us who support efforts to stop climate change KNOW why we do it. We read the articles, we follow the issue, and some of us have taken coursework in it or have established our profession in the matter. The problem is that the majority of people have complex lives that are full of issues competing for attention, and they don’t understand the true impact and urgency of the climate change problem. However, if most of those people received some level of education in it (whether by seminars, K-12 or college education, professional training, etc.), we wouldn’t find change so hard to implement. Granted, there are people that simply, because they have contrary financial or other interests, won’t support our efforts, but they will find themselves increasingly alone as we educate the general population about this important issue. The solution to a problem starts with understanding it, and education is a path to that understanding.

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