November 25, 2010
U of C releases Climate Action Plan
Contributed by the Office of Sustainability
Yesterday, the University of Calgary released its long awaited Climate Action Plan—a detailed plan for reducing institutional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—becoming the first university in Alberta and only the second university in Canada to do so.
The Climate Action Plan identifies strategies for achieving institutional greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets of 45 percent by 2015 and 80 percent by 2050. It also highlights U of C academic strengths in the management of GHG emissions and climate change as well as significant co-curricular student leadership on campus.
“U of C is on track to meeting the 2015 target,” says Joanne Perdue, director of campus sustainability. “Transportation demand management programs are in place and expanding, our multi-year Energy Performance Initiative will continue to drive down energy use and costs in existing buildings, and the Cogeneration Plant which comes on line in spring 2011 will provide significant cost and GHG emission reductions.”
The Climate Action Plan is an important step forward in the U of C’s commitment to excellence and leadership in advancing sustainability and in honoring the institutional commitment to the University and College Presidents’ Climate Change Statement of Action for Canada. To date this declaration has been signed by 28 university and college presidents across Canada. Almost 700 universities in the U.S. have signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Signatories to both declarations are required to complete a comprehensive GHG inventory and Climate Action Plan within two years of signing. Collectively these institutions demonstrate significant leadership and momentum in the post secondary sector.
“The U of C is uniquely positioned to model emissions reduction strategies in all aspects of our operations and we have established research in energy and environment as one of our strategic research priorities,” says Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, president and vice chancellor of the U of C. “We are engaged in critical learning and research related to GHG emission reductions and climate change. Through partnerships and collaboration with our local community as well as regional and national consortiums we can accelerate the development of knowledge and implement innovative solutions.”
In fiscal year 2008-09, the U of C was responsible for approximately 330,000 metric tonnes of GHG emissions annually. It would take approximately 15 million full-grown trees annually to offset these emissions.
To read the University of Calgary Climate Action Plan and UCPCCSAC, visit: www.ucalgary.ca/sustainability/climate_action
For more stories on how students, staff and faculty are stepping up together to turn SustainabilityON at U of C or to learn how you can become involved, visit: www.ucalgary.ca/sustainability.