Staff Editorial: Carbon neutrality a must

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September 21, 2007

5:01 AM

Yesterday, the Landscape, Energy and Environment Committee endorsed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, a pledge directed at U.S. schools encouraging them to become carbon neutral by the year 2020. College President Gene Nichol has previously deferred on the opportunity to sign the PCC, citing uncertain administrative support. However, the time for action is already overdue.

p. The College must fully commit to this agreement, which has already been implemented at 400 schools nationwide. Simply reducing emissions is not enough. Nichol must move to save on future costs and contribute to more sustainable development for the Williamsburg area.

p. This is a marvelous opportunity for Nichol and the College to stay abreast of other top-notch, forward-thinking institutions that have made similar pledges. The means are already in place: Several academic buildings and other campus facilities will undergo renovations in the coming years, including Tucker Hall and Andrews Hall. Much like the new Jamestown dorms, which were built to be energy efficient, similar goals should be enacted for these new renovations.

p. With the recent state budget cuts, costs of implementing such a program may be a concern, but they should not prevent Nichol from acting. In the long term, making the College carbon neutral over the next 13 years will save on future energy costs, and will make the College more attractive to prospective students. In a time in which environmental concerns are so prevalent, the College would be wise to keep pace.

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