Email from President McKay: “Join Me in Signing the PSU Climate Action Petition!”

TO: University Park Undergraduate Students

FROM: Office of the UPUA President, on behalf of Zachary McKay

DATE: Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

SUBJ: Join Me in Signing the PSU Climate Action Petition!


A message from UPUA President Zachary McKay - Youtube Video

Dear Friends and Members of the Penn State Community,

As UPUA Student Body President, it’s my job to look out for the health and well-being of my fellow students, to fight for those who are being treated unfairly, to ensure that our University lives up to our Penn State Values, and that we leave this campus and world better than we found them.

That’s why this past Saturday, on the International Day of Climate Action, I released a video address urging you—the students, RSOs, faculty, staff, and alumni of Penn State—to join me in signing the Penn State Climate Action Petition, and in calling on Penn State’s leadership to take the actions in it to combat climate change and the injustices it brings.

You can sign the petition yourself, or on behalf of your organization (including RSOs), here: https://psuclimateaction.weebly.com/sign-the-petition.html

The petition calls on the University to ensure:

  • The rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of reaching the point of net zero emissions between 2030 and 2040;
  • The prioritization of our world-class research efforts on carbon-capture technology, agricultural carbon sequestration, and carbon neutral fuels, as well as the use of our institutional partnerships to accelerate their deployment;
  • A firm commitment to divest from fossil fuels and the fossil fuel industry, and create new investments in the green economy, especially with regard to energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and zero-emissions transportation; 
  • A reallocation of a portion of the existing student fee towards sustainability-related initiatives; 
  • Improved efforts to incorporate sustainability education into existing curriculum; and, 
  • The creation of a Climate Action Committee made up of Penn State experts—faculty, staff, and students—charged with the capacity to study, set policy, assess and publish progress on our university’s climate commitments.

I recognize that Penn State’s administration can champion these efforts, though it cannot bring all of these changes about on its own. These changes instead will require effort and commitment from all of us—from the Board of Trustees, from the Faculty Senate, from our Student Fee Boards, from our student governments, and, perhaps most importantly, from the student bodies of each of our University’s campuses, including our own here at University Park. 

The time for all of us to take decisive action in combating climate change is now, and there is no excuse for delay. 

Learn more about the UPUA and how we serve to elevate your voice and concerns to the administration, elected officials, and others here: www.UPUA.org

For The Glory,

Penn State Shield


Zachary McKay
UPUA Student Body President
Penn State ’21