Resolution to Declare Climate Crisis

Sponsor: Atticus Cummings                                                           Yes: 15 No: 0 Abs: 1

Co-Sponsors:  Nicholas Fitzmaurice                                             Date: 9/23.2021

MSU Endorsements: MSUCampus Climate Coalition, Sustainability Now                 

   Speaker Signature:   

Vote Necessary: Majority                                                            Kathryn E Riggers  

Intent: The Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU) supports bringing awareness to global climate change. To formally declare a state of climate crisis, and recommend the use of Montana State University's (MSU) resources to facilitate rapid, sustained, and immediate climate action.


Whereas, the IPCC has issued repeated and increasingly dire warnings regarding the state of the global climate;1 and,


Whereas, the global temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degrees C above the pre-industrial period;2 and,


Whereas, 2010-2019 was the hottest decade on record;2 and,


Whereas, 30 percent of the world’s population is exposed to deadly heatwaves more than 20 days a year;3 and,


Whereas, the 2018 National Climate Assessment asserts that climatic changes caused by global warming have caused increasing disruption to quality of life, health, resources, food production, public works, private holdings, etc. in the United States of America. These damages are expected to continue and worsen in the coming decades; and,


Whereas, H.R.794 - Climate Emergency Act of 2021 which declares a national state of climate emergency has been introduced to the United States House of Representatives and is in discussion in the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change;4 and,


Whereas, MSU is capable of an urgent and effective response to climate change, having already demonstrated has made notable progress toward sustainable operationsility including waste reduction and diversion (composting and recycling), energy efficiency retrofits, LEED buildings, geothermal heat pumps, and investments into photovoltaic and passive solar currently reaping a 2.12% gross annual emissions reduction (3.45% normalized to university square footage growth)5; and,


Whereas, the UN has articulated that there is a Climate Emergency and “To prevent warming beyond 1.5°C, we need to reduce emissions by 7.6% every year from this year to 2030”;6 and,




Institutions of higher education have a duty to be thought leaders in the global fight against climate change,7 by going above and beyond the UN minimum recommendations; and,


Whereas, Bozeman, MT is already experiencing effects of climate change including increased wildfire activity and associated smoke, decreased winter snowpacks, and drought conditions; and,


Whereas, Montana and Montana State University have long sported a culture of land stewardship, centered around serving the land today so that it will continue to take care of us tomorrow; and,


Whereas, We the students of Montana State University desire a safe and healthy future for ourselves and our children, a future that is increasingly jeopardized by the escalating climate crisis; now, therefore, be it


Resolved, that the ASMSU Senate formally endorses the MSU Sustainability Plan put forth by the Campus Sustainability Advisory Council and called for in Intentional Focus 3 of MSU’s 2019 Strategic Plan, Choosing Promise⁹; and be it


Further Resolved, the ASMSU Senate declares the existence and severity of the extant global climate crisis and strongly endorses MSU’s allocation of resources for rapid, sustained and immediate action. Submit this resolution to Dr. Waded Cruzado, Montana State University President; Julia Haggerty, MSU Campus Sustainability Advisory Council Chair; Kristin Blackler, MSU Office of Sustainability Director; Chris Murray, MSU Alumni Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer; Mike Kosevich, MSU Culinary Services Director; EJ Hook, Facilities Services Director; Montana Associated Students (MAS) President; and Sustainability Now, Student Organization.


1 https://www.ipcc.ch/reports/

2 World Meteorological Organization

3 Cooling and Climate Change fact sheet, UNE


5MSU Office of Sustainabiltity 8/31/21


7Presidant Marry Robinson’s Spring 2021 talk at MSU

8Whitlock C, Cross W, Maxwell B, Silverman N, Wade AA. 2017. 2017 Montana Climate Assessment. Bozeman and Missoula MT: Montana State University and University of Montana, Montana Institute on Ecosystems. 318 p. doi:10.15788/m2ww8w.

⁹Choosing Promise: https://www.montana.edu/strategicplan/