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

by | Jul 9, 2009

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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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