Monday, December 7, 2015

UNC-Chapel Hill Signs the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge

Carolina joined more than 200 colleges and universities across the nation in signing the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge. Announced by the White House just ahead of the Conference on Climate Change in Paris, the pledge demonstrates the signatories’ commitment to “accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across campus.” Read the full pledge and list of signatories here.

Carolina specifically pledged to build on existing investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and public transportation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by: 
 • Transitioning to burning more natural gas instead of coal as an interim fuel strategy at our award winning 32 megawatt combined heat and power plant. 
• Investing in more LED lighting and demand responsive HVAC systems. UNC-Chapel Hill has already reduced energy consumption by 29% per square foot since 2003, thus avoiding $260 million in energy costs and associated greenhouse gas emissions. 
• Examining opportunities to expand our use of GHG-intensive methane gas to generate electricity. UNC already operates a 1 MW generator that produces electricity from landfill gas. 
• Working with the town to implement our recently developed bicycle master plans. UNC already sponsors a fare-free transit system, along with the town, that provides 7 million rides annually.