MIT Hosts Fossil Fuel Divestment Debate [Video]
The MIT Climate Change Conversation explored whether MIT should divest its endowment as part of its response to climate change. Six prominent voices in the dialogue on climate change and energy were staged as two teams that present PRO-divestment and AGAINST-divestment arguments in a classic debate format moderated by Tony Cortese, principal of Intentional Endowments Network.
GMR Institute of Tech Imposes Vehicle Restrictions on Campus
(India): In an effort to curb noise and air pollution at the institution, the university recently banned vehicles on campus every Thursday whereby all faculty, staff and students park their motorized vehicles in assigned locations and reach campus by foot.
U Edinburgh Faculty Urge Divestment From Fossil Fuels
(U.K.): Fifty academics from the university have signed an open letter calling for the institution to divest its 230 million pounds ($343.9 million) endowment fund from fossil fuels and the arms trade. The university is expected to make a decision about divestment in April.
Yale U Student Develops Science-Based Tool for Emissions Goals
Based on the question, how much greenhouse gas reduction is enough to prevent humans from crossing a potentially dangerous climate threshold, a student's masters project led to the development of a tool that compares a university's greenhouse gas emissions to a global emissions scenario that is most likely to keep global warming below two degrees centigrade.
ACUPCC Highlights Progress Reports
(U.S.): The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment spotlights noteworthy accomplishments from recent progress report submissions that are inspiring and progressive in their goal of attaining carbon neutrality. The highlights include projects from Creighton University, Salisbury University and University of California at Los Angeles.
U California Merced Tests Plug That Tracks Electricity Source
The new plug called WattTime, developed through the university's technology research institute, might carry the ability to allow universities to reduce their carbon footprint by tracking the fuel source of the energy being used to charge the carts, solar, natural gas, coal, geothermal or hydroelectric, and determine the cheapest and least environmentally impactful time to charge. WattTime plugs will gather data for a couple of months in the pilot program, and communicate a charging strategy for university facilities to most efficiently charge its electric cart fleet.
Cornell U Shaves 15 Years from Carbon Neutral Goal
A new report detailing how the university can reach carbon neutrality by 2035, including fees on carbon, was recently released by the Climate Action Acceleration Working Group with 16 recommendations and specific milestones targeting campus utility bills and university-funded travel among others.
U California Riverside Implements Sustainability Fellowships
As part of the University of California’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative, a total of five $1,500 fellowships will be awarded to both undergraduates and graduate students for projects that contribute to a reduction in campus greenhouse gas emissions, and/or educate the campus community about the importance of carbon neutrality.
Washington U Initiates Green Monday Pledge
Aiming to decrease the university’s carbon footprint by reducing meat consumption, Green Monday encourages students, faculty and community members to take a pledge to eat vegetarian on Mondays.
Indiana U Student Organization Passes Sustainability Resolution
(U.S.): The university's Graduate and Professional Student Organization recently passed a resolution calling for the university to establish a dollar amount allocated to renewable energy and to make the amount public, and to report associated emissions reductions each year.
California State U East Bay to Sign ACUPCC
At an upcoming signature event featuring faculty experts discussing climate change science, impacts and mitigation, the university's president will sign the American Colleges and Universities Presidents' Climate Commitment.
Green Mountain College Receives Donated RECs from Solar System
Contributing to the college's goal of using 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, the Renewable Energy Credits from a 150-kilowatt photovoltaic installation are being donated to the college and will offset approximately 8 percent of the campus' electricity consumption.
U California Initiates President's Sustainability Student Program
Supporting the university system's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025, the university recently announced the creation of the President's Sustainability Student Fellowship/Internship program, whereby the Office of the President will provide $7,500 to each of the university's 10 campuses to fund student awards.
Vanderbilt U Goes Coal Free
After a 126-year reliance on coal, the co-generation plant, which produces 23 percent of the university's electricity, 90 percent of its heat, and 40 percent of its cooling, now runs exclusively on natural gas.
Colgate U Launches Forest Management Practices
(U.S.): In its quest for carbon neutrality by 2019, the university recently began using 1,634 acres of university-owned land for research and teaching, outdoor recreation and aesthetic value, conservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity, and timber production. Management of the forests is projected to sequester 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Cornell U Passes Resolution to Lower Lab Carbon Emissions
(U.S.): The university's Graduate and Professional Student Assembly unanimously passed the resolution to create an ad hoc sustainability committee focused on lowering carbon emissions, particularly those in laboratories by educating graduate students, the main users of lab space, about how to reduce carbon emissions.
U Alberta Offers Carbon Offsets to Resident Guests
The university's Hospitality Services has recently partnered with a third-party organization that allows overnight guests in its university-owned hotel to add an optional $2 fee used to support emissions-reducing projects and environmental improvements. The university expects to use the savings garnered from the optional program to fund low-flow bathroom fixtures, water bottle refill stations and an energy audit.
Appalachian State U Introduces Carbon Offsets
(U.S.): Called the Carbon Neutral Commuter Program, students, faculty and staff commuters can voluntarily pay an additional fee, tagged onto their annual campus parking pass cost, that is used to purchase carbon offsets through a third party broker. The funds are used to purchase offsets through methane capture and destruction, and intermodal transport, which uses shipping containers via rail instead of trucks.
Carnegie Mellon U Students to Urge for Fossil Fuel Divestment
Inspired by the AASHE 2014 Conference & Expo, student attendees from the university's environmental organization Sustainable Earth are launching the divestment initiative, which will call for the university to freeze any investments into fossil fuel companies and to completely divest from the industry within five years.
Boston U Reaches 2020 Goal Six Years Early
In July 2014 the university reached its 2020 goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by three ways: a regional electrical grid fuel change from coal to natural gas, reducing heating oil use from 24 percent in 2006 to 3 percent, and energy efficiency improvements as indicated in the university's climate mitigation plan.
Six Schools Partner with Chevrolet for Carbon Reductions
Marking Campus Sustainability Day Portland State University, Spelman College, Boston University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and University of Illinois at Chicago announced their partnership with the Chevrolet Carbon Reduction Initiative, a new carbon methodology for campuses that measures and sells their greenhouse gas reductions to fund even deeper campus efficiency measures. These campuses join Ball State University, Valencia College, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Grand Valley State University and Southern Oregon University.
Glasgow U Divests from Fossil Fuels
(U.K.): After 12 months of campaigning led by the university's Climate Action Society, the university sets precedent in Europe as it becomes the first academic imstitution to divest from the fossil fuel industry.
U Georgia to Decommission Coal Fired Boiler
(U.S.): In a recent announcement from the university's president, the decision came after a third-party study revealed a more economically appealing option for the 50-year-old boiler, the single largest source of pollution in the town.
U North Carolina Chapel Hill Targets Clean Energy Investments
(U.S.): After three years of campaigning by the university's Sierra Student Coalition Beyond Coal team for coal divestment, the university's board of trustees unanimously passed a resolution to target clean energy investments in the management of its $2.2 billion endowment.
Boston U Faculty Encourages Fossil Fuel Divestment
245 university faculty have teamed together to sign a petition that encourages divestment from fossil fuel companies to combat climate change. The petition is now under review with the university's Board of Trustees.
Higher Education Leaders Address Climate Change
A new initiative called Solution Generation was recently launched by ecoAmerica and MomentUS to provide communications tools, research and resources for higher education leaders to design and implement strategies to inspire, educate and engage their faculty, staff, students, peers and communities on climate change solutions.
U California to Combat Climate Change
Through direct investments following United Nation guidelines and the establishment of a framework for sustainable investments and solar energy purchases, the university will continue to take steps toward carbon neutrality by 2025 for a cleaner environment through solar energy.
London U Freezes Fossil Fuel Investments
(U.K.): Following a recent campaign from more than 600 students, the university’s School of Oriental and African Studies has announced the hold on all future investments and is considering divesting all of its current holdings valued at 2 million pounds ($3.3 million).
U Dayton Releases Holdings in Fossil Fuel
The university recently announced its decision, after unanimous board of trustees approval, citing Catholic social teachings and values and its comprehensive campus-wide sustainability initiatives and commitments. The university's divestment is planned to occur in phases and will restrict future investments in private equity or hedge funds whose investments support fossil fuel or significant carbon-producing holdings.
Oxford U Faculty Urge Fossil Fuel Divestment
(U.K.): In an open letter presented during a university-wide consultation on divestiture, 59 academics requested the university divest its 3.8 billion pounds ($6.5 billion) from fossil fuel-based investments.
Second Nature Declares 2014 Climate Leadership Award Winners
The fifth annual Climate Leadership Awards presented top honors to Western Michigan University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, California State University at Chico, University of Minnesota at Morris, Valencia College and Montgomery County Community College. The awards are presented annually to signatory institutions of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) that demonstrate innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability, and climate mitigation and adaptation.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Sells Carbon Offsets to Chevrolet
(U.S.): After an impending carbon credit certification, the university expects to transfer approximately 150,000 tons of reduction from fiscal years 2012-14 to the Chevrolet initiative, which will enable the university to reinvest in clean energy technologies.
U Maryland Commits to Carbon Reduction Initiatives
The university recently committed to reduce electricity use on campus by 20 percent by 2020, offset new greenhouse gas emissions from new construction through energy-efficiency standards and renewable sources, and eliminate carbon emissions from purchased electricity by 2020 using strictly renewable sources.
Villanova U Commits to Catholic Climate Covenant
(U.S.): The university president recently signed the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor, which is a pledge that asks individuals, families, parishes, organizations and universities to live their faith by protecting God’s Creation and advocates on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change.
U Saskatchewan Commits to Building Temperature Control
In honor of International Polar Bear Day, the university announced its plans to raise the thermostat two degrees in spring and summer and one degree in winter in an effort to lower its carbon emissions from heating and cooling.
Wake Technical CC Builds New Walkways
Two new walkways were constructed that will alleviate shuttle transportation, preventing associated greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere, and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Scotland Colleges and Universities Sign Carbon Commitment
(U.K.): All universities and colleges across Scotland have committed to addressing climate change and carbon challenges by signing the Universities and Colleges Climate Commitment for Scotland (UCCCfS), which offers a framework for institutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
U California Irvine Honored with EPA Climate Leadership Award
The university was recently honored with the Organizational Leadership Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for their leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including setting a goal of 40 percent reduction by 2020 from 2011 levels, and the Smart Lab Initiative, a program to safely reduce energy consumption in laboratories, which has dropped consumption by 60 percent.
UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly Calls for Fossil Fuel Divestment
The Graduate Assembly of the University of California, Berkeley voted with a two-thirds majority in favor of a resolution that calls on the university and the UC system to divest their endowments from fossil fuel companies. The resolution also commits the Graduate Assembly to divest its own funds of $475,000 from the greenhouse gas-emitting fuels.
Ball State U & Valencia College Partner with Chevrolet
(United States): As part of Chevrolet's new initiative to eliminate eight million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air over the next five years, the two schools were selected to use Chevy's new carbon-reduction performance methodology, which measures the "beyond-business-as-usual" carbon reductions. Chevy intends to then purchase these reductions as carbon credits. A geothermal system at Ball State University and four LEED buildings at Valencia College are eligible for the agreement.
U New Hampshire to House Clean Air-Cool Planet Programs
In 2014 Clean Air-Cool Planet will dissolve and the organization's two programs, Climate Fellows Program and the Campus Carbon Calculator (CCC), will be housed at the university's Sustainability Institute, where the CCC was developed in 2000.
Gonzaga U Releases First Climate Action Plan
The university's first plan calls for at least a 20 percent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2020 and 50 percent by 2035 from 2009 levels with the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.
St. Thomas Aquinas College Signs ACUPCC
Citing sustainability and climate change as reasons for recently signing the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, the college will offer forums to students and employees about the causes and moral dimensions of climate change, and the assess college's impact.