Environment Hall & Pilkey Laboratory Go Green

June 6, 2017

Album: Scenes from Environment Hall and Pilkey Laborotaory, at Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C

Environment Hall & Pilkey Lab Go Green!


June 5, 2017

Hi everyone,

On this rainy day, we are gathering to express our solidarity with the Paris Climate Accord and to celebrate UN World Environment Day by illuminating two of our school’s iconic buildings in green. Environment Hall in Durham will be lit from 9 to 11:30 pm tonight, and the Pilkey Laboratory at the Duke Marine Lab will be lit from9 to 10 pm.

You are welcome to join us – I will be at Environment Hall from 9 to 9:30 pm – or check out our Facebook Live event and share our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts.

Late last week, I joined with other Duke environment leaders on a public statementof our support for the Paris Accord and our continued commitment  to reducing carbon emissions. Today, Duke President Richard Brodhead added his signature to those of the presidents of the 11 other leading U.S. research universities to affirm their commitment to progress on climate change. 

See you tonight,



DURHAM (N&O) -- Two Duke University buildings focused on environmental research will be illuminated with green lights on Monday night in support of the Paris Climate Accord.

Environment Hall in Durham and the Orrin Pilkey Research Laboratory at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort will both feature green lighting at 9 p.m. Monday, which is UN World Environment Day.

The Duke statement in solidarity with the Paris Accord comes four days after President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling the United States out of the worldwide agreement meant to curb global warming.

 - Click here to read the full report at newsandobserver.com



We are the leaders of four units at Duke University that collaborate on advancing an accessible, affordable, reliable, and clean energy system for our state, our country, and the world.   We regard this challenge as one of the most pressing questions facing society in the 21st century, and one on which we should all be focused.

We pursue our goal by educating the leaders of tomorrow, conducting research that leads to innovative energy solutions, and engaging with decision-makers in the public and private sectors to turn this knowledge into practice. 

Our approach transcends political ideology. 

With that in mind, we are deeply concerned by the action that President Trump has taken to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. The President’s decision runs counter to prodigious evidence on the science and economics of climate change. This body of evidence indicates that the risks from climate change are real and that the benefits of actions mitigating these risks justify the costs.  We believe that the United States, the world’s largest economy and its second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, must lead in the efforts to counter the risks posed by climate change. Our withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord is a forfeiture of that leadership and undermines our ability to shape the solutions to this global challenge.

We remain committed to identifying and advancing ways for energy to be produced and used more efficiently and cleanly, in a manner that will make our economy and environment prosper, while considering and accounting for the disparate impact of the energy transition across vulnerable populations. This mission endures through sudden changes in the political winds. We remain steadfast in our willingness to work with scientists, business leaders, and policymakers across the political spectrum to find energy solutions that create economic opportunities, improve lives, and protect our environment.

Kelly D. Brownell
Dean, Sanford School of Public Policy

Brian C. Murray
Director, Duke University Energy Initiative

Tim Profeta
Director, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Jeffrey R. Vincent
Stanback Dean, Nicholas School of the Environment



The following statement was released today by the presidents of 12 leading U.S. research universities, commonly referred to as the “Ivy-Plus” group.

In 2015, we were proud to be among 318 institutions of higher education in signing the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge, affirming our commitment to accelerate the global transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices on our campuses.

Today, we reaffirm that commitment, which is consistent with the Paris Agreement and recognizes the concerted action that is needed at every level to slow, and ultimately prevent, the rise in the global average temperature and to facilitate the transition to a clean energy economy. Universities have a critical role to play in reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions, continuing to advance evidence-based understanding of the causes and effects of climate change on the environment, the economy and public health, and developing solutions.

The scientific consensus is clear that the climate is changing largely due to human activity, that the consequences of climate change are accelerating, and that the imperative of a low carbon future is increasingly urgent. As institutions of higher education, we remain committed to a broad-based global agreement on climate change and will do our part to ensure the United States can meet its contribution.


Christina Paxson, President, Brown University
Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University
Martha E. Pollack, President, Cornell University
Philip J. Hanlon, President, Dartmouth College
Richard H. Brodhead, President, Duke University
John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University
Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University
Ronald J. Daniels, President, Johns Hopkins University
L. Rafael Reif, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President, Stanford University
Amy Gutmann, President, University of Pennsylvania
Peter Salovey, President, Yale University


American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge (2015)

“As institutions of higher education, we applaud the progress already made to promote clean energy and climate action as we seek a comprehensive, ambitious agreement at the upcoming United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris. We recognize the urgent need to act now to avoid irreversible costs to our global community’s economic prosperity and public health and are optimistic that world leaders will reach an agreement to secure a transition to a low carbon future. Today our school pledges to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across our campus.”