I asked Google for an image of “climate action plans of universities and colleges.” Below is a screenshot of what I got:
I went on and asked the same search engine (I am fully aware of the charge that Google is illegally using its dominant position in searches) to define “climate action plan,” and, as has now become usual, I got a short AI description:
AI on Climate action plans
Generative AI is experimental. Info quality may vary.
A climate action plan is a strategic framework for measuring, planning, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and related climatic impacts. Climate action plans generally include:
- Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets
- Actions the state can take to help meet those goals
- Resilience strategies
- Clean energy targets
- Economic and social goals
Here are some examples of climate action plans:
- California Department of Water Resources
The Department’s plan is divided into three phases to address mitigation, adaptation, and consistency in the analysis of climate change.
- National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP)
The plan outlines a long-term program and strategies for climate change adaptation.
- S. Department of the Treasury
The plan emphasizes that U.S. leadership is required to significantly enhance global action and achieve the necessary policy outcomes on climate change.
- S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The plan aims to improve HHS responses to the climate crisis.
- HUD’s New Climate Action Plan
The plan provides billions of dollars in flexible funding to help communities recover from and build resilience to climate hazards and natural disasters.
33 states have Climate Action Plans.
With input from the campus community, the Task Force drafted a Climate Action Plan, which was approved by the Board of Trustees.
The plan set an ambitious but realistic strategy that places BU in a leadership role locally and nationally, and provides the greatest opportunities for sustained environmental benefits. The plan emphasizes reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions to become carbon neutral by 2040, a decade earlier than the City of Boston’s target to help the City meet its target.
Here is the Table of Contents from BU’s Climate Action Plan:
Executive Summary Pg. 3
I. Introduction Pg. 5
II. How Resilient Is the BU Campus? Pg. 8
III. What Do We Emit and Why? Pg. 10
IV. Recommendations for Reducing Scope 1 and 2 Emissions Pg. 13
V. Recommendations for Increasing Resilience Pg. 16
VI. Beyond Scope 1 and 2 Emissions Pg. 20
VII. Curriculum and Research Pg. 23
VIII. How Much Do These Recommendations Cost? Pg. 25
IX. How Do We Move Forward Systematically? Pg. 26
X. A Vision of Campus for the Future Pg. 27
XI. Conclusion Pg. 28
Appendix 1: BU Good and BU Better Scenarios Pg. 29
Appendix 2: Costs of Climate Action Pg. 30
Indiana University (IU) was established in 1820 as one of just 52 degree granting colleges in the United States Today, the University comprises seven campuses across the State of Indiana, including two core campuses and fve regional campuses, each with unique degree offerings, geographies, contexts, and climates, providing a rich variety of educational experiences tailored to the diverse needs and aspirations of its students.
The Indiana University Climate Action Plan (CAP) aligns closely with the University’s strategic plan, IU 2030: The Indiana University Strategic Plan. The strategic plan is built on three key pillars: student success and opportunity, transformative research, and service to the state. As the CAP was being developed, the strategic plan was undergoing a similar and parallel process, leading to a strong intersection between these two important efforts. The CAP serves as a complement of the strategic plan, supporting each of its core pillars. In turn, these pillars reinforce the CAP’s objectives and help ensure a comprehensive and cohesive approach to sustainability across the institution
What is a student’s role in these efforts?
Generative AI is experimental. Info quality may vary.
Campus as a Lab (CAL) is a teaching and organizational tool that allows students to use their campus as a lab. Students can contribute to sustainability projects that can advancea school’s Climate Action Plan. These projects must have measurable outcomes that help the university reach its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040.
Here are some examples of student contributions to CAL projects:
- Arizona State University students blog about “life overlooked” or non-charismatic species.
- Students in Dr. Jed Macosko’s “Physics and Chemistry of the Environment” course worked on “Project Nightlight”. This project studied the campus’ contribution to light pollution.
- Students in the Sustain IU internship program used applied behavioral science to encourage sustainable behavior.
- University of Michigan students develop and test projects at the intersection of sustainability and social justice.
Other schools that use CAL projects include:
- University of Calgary
In the next two weeks, I will gather additional examples of student input, including within the more familiar territory of my school. The previous blog summarized CUNY’s efforts in drafting the outlines of its strategic plan. That plan basically circumvented long-range goals by avoiding general assessments and replacing them with immediate objectives, to be decided on a yearly basis. Brooklyn College is just now starting its efforts to update its strategic plan. Since students are coming to us to get ready for their independent lives, the school’s long-term objectives should mirror those of its students.