Barchi fully supports carbon-neutral plan for 2030

Photo by Photo by Dustin Niles | The Daily Targum 

University President Robert L. Barchi fully supports developing a plan to reach carbon neutrality at Rutgers University by 2030, which is one of the demands of the Central Jersey Climate Coalition (CJCC), a group of students, faculty and members of the local community who plan on participating in the Global Climate Strike this Friday. 

“President Barchi commends members of our community for highlighting this issue and fully supports developing a plan to reach carbon neutrality at Rutgers University by 2030,” said Dory Devlin, a University spokesperson, in a statement to The Daily Targum. 

In response, the coalition is hoping Barchi will continue to fully commit to a carbon neutral plan by 2030. 

“The Union appreciates the spirit of cooperation and goodwill evident in President Barchi’s first response to Friday’s rally. It is unclear whether he is, in fact, committing the University to carbon neutrality by 2030,” said David Hughes, a professor in the Department of Anthropology, on behalf of the Rutgers American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Tearchers. 

He said, “If so, we look forward to the formal declaration of that goal as articulated by other major universities. This cut in carbon emissions will require much more than LEED standards on new construction. The University will need to retrofit most, if not all, of its existing buildings. The Union’s climate faculty are ready to work with the Administration to make that so. Our students — who are the future of Rutgers and the world — deserve nothing less.” 

The University’s statement also noted that all new buildings are LEED certified, and there are 3,400 solar panels on Livingston campus that are capable of supplying energy to the entire campus. 

“Rutgers is proud to be the home of world-renowned experts on climate sciences and climate policy,” Devlin said in the statement. “Making sustainable choices in purchasing and operations is a priority for the University.”

The Targum reported yesterday that the CJCC was asking for the University to create an office of sustainability, divest in fossil fuels in its endowment, develop a plan to become carbon-neutral by 2030 and endorse the Green New Deal. 

“President Barchi looks forward to the active participation of the University’s climate change experts in formulating a plan that contributes to the extensive, ongoing work on sustainability already happening across the University,” Devlin said in the statement.