Millersville tackles plan to become carbon neutral by 2040

Mickayla Miller
News Editor

In December 2015, many starry-eyed and hopeful people met in Paris to discuss a revolutionary way to change the world and halt the effects of greenhouse emissions on climate change.

Nearly a year later, on Nov. 4, the Paris Agreement became international law. The plan seeks to limit the temperature change caused by global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. So far, 96 countries have taken this plan into their own hands, according to the Associated Press.

Millersville University’s own sustainability manager, Chris Steuer, was one such person at the conference in Paris.

His aim? To bring this national project to a smaller scale, right in the town of Millersville.

The Climate Action Plan Subcommittee was formed as a result of University President John Anderson signing the Climate Action Plan in January 2016. Steuer is one of many members of this organization.

Additionally, last year, the “Our Bold Path” plan was signed by Anderson, which included a goal to reach carbon neutrality on campus by the year 2040. With this came a plan on how to make this a realistic expectation.

“Solving the climate change problem requires participation at all levels—from individual faculty, staff and students to nations,” said Steuer.

President Anderson encourages students to make decisions that will lead to sustainability in the long run.

“From the student who starts each day with a bicycle ride to campus, to the professor who stays up late incorporating climate change content into coursework, to the staff person who carefully reviews plans for our new net-zero energy Welcome Center… their passion, knowledge, and commitment are the driving force behind this Climate Action Plan,” Anderson said in a statement.

According to a study done in accord to Millersville’s 2015 GHG Emission Profile, the biggest culprit for energy emissions was purchased electricity, at 53 percent. Student commuting made up around 13 percent of energy emissions.

Millersville GHG emission rates have decreased around 14 percent since 2005, according to the Climate Action Plan.

Sustainability has been a goal of Millersville’s for a long while, now, but with the recent passing of the Paris Agreement, the actions being taken are becoming more widespread.

From the new net-zero building to the constant changes being made to ensure a bike-friendly campus, these strides  are making for a more efficient and sustainable campus.

For more updates on sustainability at Millersville, follow their Twitter at @SustainMyVille.

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