Under counsel of campus faculty and administrators, MU President Anderson signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2013. This commitment requires MU to take action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions so that the campus will eventually reach climate neutrality. The mission and history of the ACUPCC, as well as the complete list of 685 signatory institutions, can be found at http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/ .
An institutional Climate Action Plan (CAP) is an ACUPCC reporting requirement which explains how the institution plans to achieve climate neutrality. A strategy list for the MU CAP has been distributed by campus email, and the full report is due January 15, 2016. The purpose of this web blog is to answer any questions and address any concerns (or praise!) you may have related to the strategy list. Below are some answers to questions/comments that were received during the spring 2015 CAP informational sessions. Please feed free to add your questions and comments below.
Comment: Fix maintenance issues on campus first. Response: Absolutely. It makes sense to pick the low hanging fruit first.
Comment: There is no need to be climate neutral. Being fiscally responsible is more important. Response: While one could certainly argue the merits of each, the ACUPCC requires climate neutrality. There is no choice. However, there is no year specified in which an institution must reach neutrality. Some campuses are striving to reach neutrality within the next decade, while others are stretching their target date several decades into the future. To date, MU has not chosen a target date.
Comment: Make sure the CAP strategies make fiscal sense and seek grants to help fund them. Response: Good advice. One of the first jobs of MU’s new sustainability manager will be to look at costs of strategies. There are a number of organizations which provide funding for various sustainable practices on campuses. In addition, we expect to use a green revolving fund, in which savings from implemented strategies, (e.g., energy efficiency), go back into the fund to pay for even more projects.
Comment: Use wild-scaping or nature-scaping instead of campus lawn. Then we can claim carbon credits for it. Response: This is certainly something we can look into.