App State can no longer hide behind its reputation in sustainability. The Office of Sustainability manages and implements a wide range of initiatives that have been successful in many ways. The work done by OoS has been great and is an integral part of reducing greenhouse gases and making App State sustainable.
Yet, compartmentalizing sustainability in the OoS limits App State’s ability to address the massive issue of combating and preparing our university for climate change. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN group appointed to analyze climate change, gave a dire warning, stating that emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030 and must be net zero by 2050 if global catastrophe is to be avoided.
Students and faculty have recognized the scope of the issue and have applied months of research to produce a Student Government Climate Neutrality Bill and a Faculty Senate Climate Neutrality Bill. Both bills call for the University to take action on a larger scale through a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2025 and 2030 respectively, implementation of a carbon tax, and a commitment for New River Light and Power, the university owned energy utility, to purchase 100% renewable energy.
It is clear that these actions require initiative and commitment from upper-level administration, yet, there has been no word from those who have the power to make these powerful changes. We can not continue to watch those in power fail to care for their students and our community. We must demand action now.
Michael Weiss is a junior sustainable development major.