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University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine Aims to Accelerate Climate Action, Galvanize Veterinary Profession

By: Martin J. Hackett | Date: Apr 18, 2022
Aerial view of field

[April 18, 2022; Philadelphia, PA] – The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) released a statement today outlining a forward-looking approach to reduce school-specific and global emissions and prepare for climate change impacts. The declaration draft affirms Penn Vet’s commitment to climate-oriented operational and academic goals in 2023, and 100% carbon neutrality no later than 2042. Penn Vet will partner with the University of Pennsylvania’s two sustainability entities: the Environmental Innovation Initiative, and the Sustainability Group, to accelerate inventories and future actions in response to climate change and sustained weather events.

“Increased heatwaves, droughts and floods are already exceeding plants’ and animals’ tolerance thresholds, driving mass mortalities in species such as trees and corals,” said officials from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “These weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage.

The impact of heat and precipitation persistence intensifies zoonotic disease transmission; and magnifies the very real risk of major spillover events that could compromise the health of wildlife, livestock, domestic animals, and human populations. Significantly, food systems are threatened, with disproportionate impact on vulnerable nations and people.

“With this position statement, Penn Vet aims to better connect the veterinary profession with the climate crisis,” said Andrew M. Hoffman, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM, Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “Our profession is uniquely and deeply intertwined with the climate impact on the health of animals, people, and the environment. It is a moral imperative for us to not only lead in raising awareness about climate change, but to contribute significantly to mitigating the causes.”

Read the School's full Climate Connection Statement...