With their futures at stake, university and college students are driving learning leaders to strengthen the role of higher education in sustainability. Many of the 4 million people who took part in the September 2019 youth-led climate strikes are now college-age. A 2021 Deloitte survey also showed that climate change and protecting the environment was the top priority for Gen Z. Clearly, commitments to protect the planet have become table stakes for students. Indeed, 75% of students say that a college’s environmental commitment would influence their choice of school, according to a survey conducted by the Princeton Review. But it’s not just students who are leading the charge. Climate action has become critical for governments globally: At COP26, the 2021 UN climate change conference held in Glasgow, 137 countries agreed to reverse forest loss, and 190 countries agreed to phase out coal power. Addressing environmental sustainability puts higher learning institutions ahead of the curve regarding regulatory pressures.
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