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University of Wyoming Finalizes Climate Action Plan


September 14, 2009 — University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan on Tuesday will finalize UW's Climate Action Plan and submit it to the campus community and the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

The plan documents UW's commitment to reducing campus greenhouse gas emissions and outlines a set of steps that will teach students the skills they will need to help society do the same, Buchanan says. The action plan can be read at http://uwyo.edu/sustainability.

"The University of Wyoming can, and must, be a leader in sustainability and environmental responsibility," says Buchanan. "I am extremely pleased with the level of input and engagement among faculty, staff, and students to create our Climate Action Plan."

As a signatory of the ACUPCC, UW receives support and resources designed to help the university achieve the outlined climate objectives and has access to a supportive network of peer institutions that share insights into best practices, says Tara Nelson, special assistant to the president. She says 650 college and university presidents have joined the ACUPCC, a comprehensive climate change initiative through which schools commit to "neutralize greenhouse gas emissions on their campuses, dedicate research and programs to the development of climate change solutions, and train their students to address the climate crisis upon graduation."

"I congratulate the University of Wyoming on its commitment to climate neutrality and for contributing to this first sector-wide effort at creating climate action plans," said Toni Nelson, ACUPCC program director. "The collective impact of schools throughout the nation fighting climate change is tremendous."

Launched in 2007, the ACUPCC addresses global warming, garners institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions and accelerates the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the Earth's climate. For more information, visit www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.

UW's action plan was developed by the Campus Sustainability Committee led by Jill Lovato, Haub School of Environmental and Natural Resources, and Jim Scott, director of the Physical Plant. The plan's goal is to minimize the institution's greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact by reducing campus energy consumption, obtaining energy from renewable and sustainable sources, and instituting a sustainable culture among students, faculty, and staff.

UW's action plan is a three-phase approach that includes energy efficiency measures as the most immediate and largest portion of reduction, Nelson says. Other major initiatives include weaving sustainability concepts into the academic curriculum and educating the campus community about steps they can take individually toward sustainability.

Posted on Monday, September 14, 2009

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