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Climate Action Plan Summary, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 557

Essay

This environmental initiative is designed to target colleges and universities at the national level to begin making environmentally conscious changes with regards to their operations. The ultimate goal of this collaboration is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. The universities are using 2005 recorded emissions as baseline standards and plan to reduce the amount of emissions by 20% by 2015. A second goal is to ensure that no greenhouse gasses are emitted from these campuses by 2030. The Clark University Climate Action Plan was summarized in a report published in 2009. Since the first timeline indicated in the report has been reached, it is likely that results indicating the initiative’s progress will reported shortly.

The action plan indicates that there are many costs associated with achieving this initiative due to the need to renovate central heating and cooling plants at various campuses to ensure that they will not release harmful gasses. These systems must be updated and modernized, which will be expensive considering that a majority of the campus buildings run on these antiquated systems. However, allowing them to be updated will support both the health of the student population and of the planet, as students will not be forced to breathe in the emissions and the decrease in the level of emissions will contribute to less of these gasses being trapped in the atmosphere. An additional goal of this plan is to enhance energy efficiency at all campuses involved. The main plan focuses on a switch to biodiesel fuel, which is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

While the plan has straightforward goals, it will require support throughout their implementation in order to ensure that best practices are being employed for them to be achieved. Clark University intends to provide the initiative with student support by creating leadership programs that will allow interested students to become involved. Furthermore, there are research opportunities available that will allow students to generate data concerning the efficacy and speed with which greenhouse gasses can be eliminated from campus. It is expected that all future purchases by the institution will be made with conservation principles in mind, which will focus on reducing waste and purchasing energy efficient products.

The specific greenhouse gasses that the university wishes to minimize emissions of includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). According to the report, “the largest sources of emissions for Clark University are those associated with energy supply, electricity consumption, air travel, and commuting”. Therefore, to reduce a portion of emissions by 2015, the university planned to focus on first developing cleaner solutions for these functions while considering additional ways to reduce emission of these harmful gasses.

Ultimately, this plan appears to be feasible because many different aspects of university life are willing to be involved in the project. The administration is making clear changes that will help modernize the buildings preventing the release of these gasses in this manner. Furthermore, student involvement seems to be high, which is creating a culture of success on campus. As a consequence, it is likely that progress will be indicated in the 2015 report. While it will be challenging to determine whether emissions can be completely ceased by the 2030 deadline, this report will help the university be more certain of the progress towards its goal.

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