SGA bill presses university to climate neutrality by 2025

Moss Brennan, Editor in Chief

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Members of the Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative burst into cheers as the Student Government Association passed The Climate Neutrality Act, which urges App State to “take aggressive action to achieve climate neutrality by 2025.”

Twenty-eight different groups and 41 individuals across campus sponsored the bill.

The bill passed during the March 12 SGA Senate meeting.

“I think it’s incredible,” sophomore political science major and creator of the bill Devin Mullins said. “It only happened because we had this many people show up and they showed Senators that they wanted it to happen.”

Creator of the Climate Neutrality Act Devin Mullins embraces fellow Sen. Emily Hogan as the Climate Neutrality Act was passed. The bill passed unanimously Tuesday night.

Over 50 students and members of the Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative filled the seats and lined the walls as SGA debated and voted on the bill.

“This is the first big step for us to really getting the university on board with climate neutrality and expressing to them that our student body does endorse sustainability,” junior sustainable development major Devyn Barron said.

Barron is part of the Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative communications team.

A survey shared on social media found that 95 percent of 515 people surveyed would support “dramatically increasing energy efficiency on campus.”

“We have all these voices, this gigantic movement, that say, ‘Yes, we want Appalachian State to be climate neutral by 2025,’” Mullins said.

Danny Esposito is a senior sustainable development major who attended the March 12 Senate meeting.

“I think this is really a great opportunity for App State to become an even bigger leader in the sustainability efforts across the nation as far as universities go,” Esposito said.

The bill has 15 resolved clauses that call for App State to support the Climate Action Collaborative, mandate that all university units begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that the university provide transparent accounting of the university’s trajectory of progress toward climate neutrality.

The final resolved clause of the bill endorses the Climate Action Collaborative and reads: “We wholeheartedly support the Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative and the goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2025 at Appalachian State University.”

“The driving force behind this bill is the Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative,” Mullins said.

The full bill can be found on the SGA website.