Barchi says Rutgers has begun communicating with University Climate Change Coalition

<p>University President Robert L. Barchi said the President's Task Force will look into a fiscal and environmentally sustainable way to have Rutgers go carbon neutral. Their recommendations he will then consider.&nbsp;</p>

University President Robert L. Barchi said the President's Task Force will look into a fiscal and environmentally sustainable way to have Rutgers go carbon neutral. Their recommendations he will then consider. 


At the Rutgers Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 25, 2019, University President Robert L. Barchi announced that the University has begun sharing information with the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), a coalition of universities committed to carbon neutrality and carbon resiliency. 

Barchi’s climate announcement comes approximately a week after launching a President’s Task Force on Carbon Neutrality and Carbon Resilience, which has been charged with the mission of developing a comprehensive climate action plan for the University to consider, The Daily Targum reported

The task force will look at what Rutgers can do in the next 10 years, and then the years after that. It must be fiscally and environmentally conscious, as well as scalable as the University grows, Barchi said at the meeting, according to a YouTube video provided by New Brunswick Today yesterday. 

“We are actually in communication with and begun exchanging information with UC3, which is a developing coalition of R1 Universities who are committed to these changes for carbon neutrality and carbon resilience,” Barchi said. “In order to join that group, we have to have a plan, that is a requirement for membership. We have to be willing to make a statement about when we will accomplish carbon neutrality and how we intend to get there.”

Following that statement, he added: “Why can’t you just agree to a number? Well, obviously every university is different. Rutgers, being one of the oldest universities in the country — a blessing — is also blessed with one of the oldest physical plants in the country. So things that some universities do in five years is impossible for Rutgers to do in five years."

If Rutgers were to join UC3, it would be the fourth Big Ten school to do so, along with the University of Maryland, College Park, Ohio State University and the University of Michigan, Barchi said. 

“I do applaud this move by Barchi and I'm confident that Bob Kopp, Kevin Lyons and our student coalition members who have requested to join the task force, will produce a bold and strong plan to get Rutgers to net-zero emissions in the next decade,” said James Boyle, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and communications director of the Central Jersey Climate Coalition (CJCC). “Barchi and the Board of Governors have still remained silent when it comes to fossil fuel divestment, and, while these changes are necessary, a fossil-free University must also mean a fossil-free endowment.”

Barchi also noted that the University has one of the largest recycling systems in the country, as well as solar fields on the Livingston campus and a faculty that does much research in the fields of environment and climate. 

“We also recognize that it is time for everyone to step up, to make a clear statement on the impact of human activity on global warming,” Barchi said at the meeting. “Even if the nation as a whole is not willing to do that, so we are taking a major step towards doing that.” 


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