Our History

Check out Cornell Daily Sun, 4/20/11: KyotoNOW! Celebrates 10 Years of Activism

Climate Justice Cornell, formerly KyotoNOW! started as a project of the Cornell Greens in 2001 and became an official student organization after the U.S. government pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol. Students wanted Cornell to commit to the goals set by the protocol even though the U.S. had pulled out. They organized a sit-in and convinced the University to reach the goals under the Kyoto Protocol. That led to the creation of the Kyoto Task Team and several projects and initiatives that have allowed Cornell to reach the Kyoto goals.


From April 11-17, 2001, members of the Cornell Greens as well as the Cornell community-at-large came together to protest Cornell University’s decision not to support the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas levels to 7% below 1990 levels by the year 2008 (for the University’s statement, please read Cornell’s Initial Kyoto Statement). During this protest, students sat both inside and outside Day Hall with signs, banners, and musical instruments in an effort to have the University change its opinion on the Kyoto Protocol. Due to this pressure as well as continued negotiations with the administration by members of the Greens, the administration finally decided to endorse the Kyoto Protocol. For the actual statements, pleaes read Cornell’s Endorsement of the Kyoto Treaty. Though this endorsement effectively ended the protests in front of Day Hall, the campaign to reduce carbon emissions in our community continues!


Climate Justice Cornell has a remarkably momentous and exciting history. One of our first and the most notable accomplishments was persuading Cornell University to commit to the Kyoto protocol and later convincing President Skorton to go beyond the Kyoto protocol by agreeing to the President’s Climate Commitment. Thanks to the efforts of our students Cornell is on its 50 year track to go completely carbon neutral.

We have run many other campaigns in support of sustainability and climiate action initiatives, including the fight against hydrofracking, letters and phone drives to political figures urging them to support climate change legislation, organizing rallies and speaker visits on campus and many more. Every semester we make a large impact. Come to our meetings to be a part of history!


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