Coming Together for Climate Action
Climate Action Task Force presents preliminary recommendations
by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Ann Lemmo '14, an environmental-studies major and a research assistant on the Climate Action Task Force's transportation team, describes proposed initiatives to encourage walking, bicycling and carpooling to campus. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.
Students, faculty, staff members and
administrators on the Climate
Action Task Force have worked hard this semester to identify new ways to
further decrease greenhouse-gas emissions at Dickinson. Last week, they
presented their preliminary findings at an afternoon town-hall meeting and requested feedback from the Dickinson community.
The event, which included presentations of
new student and faculty research, brought many ideas to light and opened the
floor for discussion and revision, as the task force prepares to submit its
final recommendations to the college in September.
of this research was just completed this semester, and there’s still a lot of
work to be done, so we really want everyone's feedback,” said Lindsey Lyons, assistant director of the Center forSustainability Education.
The task force represents a new chapter in
Dickinson’s ongoing quest to achieve climate neutrality by reducing emissions 25 percent,
based on 2008’s baseline rates, by 2020 (with 75 percent in purchased renewable-energy
certificates), 50 percent by 2025 (50 percent in offsets); and 75 percent by 2030 (25 percent in offsets).
These goals were set in 2007 when
President William G. Durden ’71 signed the American College & University Presidents’
Climate Commitment on behalf of the college and was cemented in 2009
with the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. In the years since,
Dickinson has launched a college-wide curricular and extracurricular initiative
on sustainability education and has achieved a 6 percent emissions reduction, based on the 2008
doing well, in part because we have a long history of energy efficiency on
campus, so our starting point was pretty good,” said Ken Shultes, associate
vice president for campus operations. “That’s good news, but it also means that
our task is that much harder, because there is no remaining low-hanging fruit. And we
still have a 19 percent reduction to go.”
Shultes added that the college’s ongoing campus-facilities enhancements compound that challenge. While new construction will significantly enhance on-campus
life, it also will add 100,000 square feet to the campus footprint, making
greater efficiency and conservation all the more critical. The Climate Action
Task Force was founded in January to help the college meet all of these challenges by
identifying new and intensified methods of reaching the college’s goals.
bringing students, faculty and staff together to find solutions because the
educational component is important,” said Shultes. “Each year we send out
students with this information on how to reduce greenhouse emissions, and they
take it to their workplaces, homes, communities. They make this happen all over
the task force’s recommendations at go.dickinson.edu/CAP. Dickinson community members can then submit comments via the reply forms on these pages: