UWRF Chancellor Commits to 'Climate Neutral' Campus
JUNE 13, 2007--University of Wisconsin-River Falls Chancellor Don Betz on Tuesday, June 12, joined more than 250 other college and university presidents to formally commit to sharply reducing and eventually eliminating all of the university's global warming emissions. Betz also pledged to accelerate the research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate.
The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment was adopted June 12 at a summit of higher education leaders in Washington, D.C.
"Global warming is a defining challenge of our time," said Betz. "Human activities are responsible for the problem, and working together humans have the capacity to solve the problem. That means taking serious action today to stop adding global warming pollution to the atmosphere. UWRF is committed to leading the way."
UWRF will create a comprehensive institutional action plan to move toward climate neutrality. In addition, in the short term it is strengthening its actions in these areas:
Adopting green standards for buildings;
Requiring ENERGY STAR certification for products purchased by the university;
Offsetting emissions due to air travel;
Encouraging public transportation;
Purchasing energy from renewable sources; and
Supporting climate and sustainability shareholder proposals.
These efforts build on UWRF's ongoing commitment to sustainability, including achieving a directive by Gov. Jim Doyle to be energy-neutral by 2012, and the forming of the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development, which is assisting communities in economic development as well as sociological and environmental sustainability.
The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality - not just a reduction - as its target. This endeavor by America's colleges and universities is inspired by efforts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, and other collective efforts by states and businesses.
"Colleges and universities must lead the effort to reverse global warming for the health and well-being of current and future generations," said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University and chair of the ACUPCC Steering Committee. "On behalf of all the signatories, I welcome Chancellor Betz to the commitment; we are honored and pleased to have him join us."
The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate. Under the guidance and direction of university presidents, the commitment is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, and ecoAmerica.
Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:21 Central Daylight Time
University of Wisconsin - River Falls