An Environmental Role Model
Tufts will be the first university to adopt a new set of strenuous climate change goals, University President Lawrence S. Bacow announced at an international conference. Hartford, Conn.
Medford/Somerville, Mass. [05.16.03] In 1999, Tufts became the first university to pledge to meet or beat the goals of the Kyoto Protocol - an international agreement ratified by over 180 countries to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Last week, University President Lawrence S. Bacow raised the bar again when he announced that Tufts would be the first university to adopt a new set of strenuous climate change goals drafted by international leaders from the U.S. and Canada.
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"Tufts has long understood the negative environmental impacts of climate change, and we believe it's important to take our environmental responsibilities seriously while also looking for solutions," Bacow said in a report by the Environmental News Service. "At Tufts we strive to couple our scholarship with active citizenship - this commitment is one way we are doing this."
The announcement was made May 12 at a regional environmental conference in Hartford, Connecticut.
"I wish to commend Tufts University for pledging their support to regional reduction of greenhouse gases," said Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland - one of the members of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, which created the guidelines. "Their commitment to climate change actions will serve as an example for other colleges and universities around the country."
The new goals for combating climate change are ambitious.
"The climate change goals require a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, and ultimately an emissions reduction of 75 to 80 percent," reported the Environmental News Service.
The regional goals are consistent with Tufts' Kyoto pledge in the short term, but more aggressive in the long term.
"Tufts has already taken a number of significant steps to operate more efficiently on its campuses by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, including the installation of energy-efficient lighting, room occupancy sensors, vending machine ‘energy misers,' solar hot water systems and front-loading washing machines in existing buildings," reported the Environmental News Service.
In recognition of the University's leadership on environmental issues and its broad commitment to reducing greenhouse emissions, the region's leading climate change group presented Bacow with a 2003 Northeast Climate Champion Award at the conference.
"Tufts received the award from Clean Air-Cool Planet," reported the Environmental News Service. "It recognizes institutions of higher education, businesses and municipalities that have adopted the kinds of policies and actions to address climate change."
At Tufts, more than 200 students work with faculty, staff and University leaders as part of the Tufts Climate Initiative - which has served as a catalyst for progress on environmental issues at Tufts and other institutions.
"Tufts is an environmental role model to universities throughout New England and around the country," said Clean Air-Cool Planet Executive Director Adam Markham. "Tufts' groundbreaking research, its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions make it a very worth recipient of one of our inaugural Climate Change Awards."