Miles Christopher, staff writer
With Minnesota slowly transitioning towards a goal of complete carbon-neutrality by 2050, and the world at large beginning to work towards similar goals, many wonder what Augsburg’s plans are, particularly in light of Augsburg’s recent failure to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2019. The Augsburg Day Student Government, as well as the more specific Environmental Action Committee and Environmental Stewardship Committee, have been working on updating and focusing the efforts of the University to best approach the problem in a clear and achievable way. To that end, the Augsburg Day Student Government has drafted a 2030 Carbon Neutrality Resolution, aimed at acknowledging the threat posed by unchecked climate change, especially to already vulnerable communities, while outlining changes that need to be made to Augsburg’s existing Climate Action Plan to prevent those threats from causing harm to both present and future generations.
“Carbon neutral[ity] by 2019 was not plausible,” said freshman Zoe Barnaby, a member of the Environmental Stewardship Committee. She spoke positively about the new resolution, sounding optimistic about following it to completion in the time frame. “We’ll have more students working on it and a better idea of how to measure and obtain the information needed to make our school carbon neutral by 2030.”
The 2030 Carbon Neutrality Resolution places emphasis on a few specific projects. It plans for a complete transition to LED lighting, or other low-impact alternatives as they arise, by 2025, as well as the installation of electric vehicle charging stations by 2023, and even a commitment to 50% solar power on campus by 2025. These intermediary plans are like check-ins along the route to carbon neutrality, ensuring that the University’s efforts can be easily quantified and tracked. Many of the projects have a promise of up to 50% payment matches from the Environmental Action Committee, which is funded through the Green Fee paid by students each semester. Each of the goals is an expansion or update on the Climate Action Plan that was drafted for the “Green by 2019” resolution.
As of now, the Resolution was passed in the Day Student Government and has the support of the University Council as it continues to move through the administrative chain. The resolution is currently available on ADSG’s Auggie Life page. The 2019 plans can be found on Augsburg’s Environmental Stewardship page.
Those who want to contribute to the conversation are encouraged to attend Day Student Government’s weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 6 PM in the Marshall Room and/or the meetings of the Environmental Action Committee on Fridays from 3:30 to 4:30 PM in Hagfors 152.