'We are still in': Rutgers University pledges to actively support Paris Climate Accord

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Photo by Dennis Zuraw |

Rutgers plans to expand its 1.4-megawatt solar farm and 8-megawatt solar canopies over University parking lots, which currently generate enough carbon-free power to provide electricity to 1,000 homes.


This week, Rutgers University signed a pledge declaring support for the Paris climate accord — the international agreement that President Donald J. Trump recently withdrew the United States from, according to NJ Advance Media.

The accord has been signed by 195 countries to date and aims to combat climate change through a united effort. Countries that have signed the agreement also work to assist developing countries in their efforts to cut emissions and decrease their carbon footprints, according to the United Nations.

The University signed a “we are still in” pledge, joining 183 other universities in supporting the implementation of the Paris climate accord on campus.

The University also said a pledge they made in November of 2015 still remains in effect, despite Trump’s decision to pull out of the climate accord.

Currently, Rutgers has several initiatives and programs in place to educate students and community members on the benefits of renewable energy and low-carbon energy, said Dory Devlin, a University spokesperson. They plan to expand the University’s 1.4-megawatt solar farm and 8-megawatt solar canopies over University parking lots, which currently generate enough carbon-free power to provide electricity to 1,000 homes.

Rutgers also offers tours to students from surrounding communities to learn about the solar farm, solar canopies, carbon reduction and the benefits of a sustainable future, Devlin said.

The University also aims to provide more opportunities for public transportation through the Physical Master Plan, which Devlin said “includes many other sustainable aspects to support health and wellbeing.”

Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) President Evan Covello told NJ Advance Media RUSA recently signed a bill to provide funding for seven new water bottle refilling stations in the fall.

“While the water bottle filling station project and the signing (of the pledge) were actually not coordinated, it's promising to see that our University is taking steps to lower greenhouse gas emissions," he said. 


Chloe Dopico

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