Tuesday, April 17, 2007

News From My Backyard: University of Oregon President Pledges to Reduce Campus Carbon Footprint

[From my alma matter!:]

EUGENE, Ore.--(April 17, 2007)-- University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer will announce Wednesday during campus Earth Day festivities that he has signed a commitment to reduce and ultimately eliminate the university's carbon footprint.

The announcement is slated for 2 p.m. in the amphitheater of the Erb Memorial Union, 1222 E. 13th Ave. The University of Oregon has invited Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy to the news conference to make an announcement about how Eugene residents can begin to curb climate change. Also scheduled to speak are Mary Wood, a professor in the UO School of Law and an expert on anti-global warming legislation, and Jared Axelrod, president of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon.

Frohnmayer recently signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, committing the University of Oregon to a broad effort by the nation's higher education institutions to address global warming by neutralizing their greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate. The heads of more than 150 institutions across the country have signed the pledge.

"Addressing climate change in our curriculum as well as campus operations is an urgent and integral part of our mission," Frohnmayer said. "Higher education plays a critical role in preparing the new workforce and creating the knowledge that will help society create the strategies, technologies, policies and economic opportunities that will allow humanity to thrive while protecting our life-supporting environment."

The University of Oregon has a history of supporting sustainability through administrative commitments and academic programs. For example, the university hired a hired a sustainability coordinator in 2004 to identify and implement pilot projects and educate the campus community about the importance of sustainability. Major lighting retrofits save hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy consumption each year.

The School of Law's environmental and natural resources law program was recently ranked among the top 10 such programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 100 faculty members from 30 campus programs and departments take part in the university's environmental studies program. See the attached fact sheet for more information about the university's commitment to sustainability.

Contact: Phil Weiler, 541-346-3873, pweiler[at]uoregon.edu

Source: Steve Mital, environmental studies department, 541-346-0591,
smital[at]uoregon.edu

Links:

  • American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment;
  • Fact Sheet: Examples of UO's commitment to sustainability

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