LTE: Environmental group pushes UK to reduce emissions

Environmental activists from Greenthumb met with the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee (PSAC) to discuss a Climate Leadership Commitment, formerly known as a Climate Action Plan (CAP), and find common ground on Nov. 5.

Greenthumb was grateful to have had the opportunity to present to PSAC their vision for the university. Greenthumb envisions the University of Kentucky signing onto Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Commitment, known as the ACUPCC. The Climate Leadership Commitment would set a date for climate neutrality and set a plan for the university to integrate sustainability into their core curriculum.

Critics of the Climate Leadership Commitment are concerned about the politics and economic impacts of a CAP. The ACUPCC is a sound economic investment with 82 percent of signatories reporting savings in 2014 according to Second Nature’s annual report.

In light of the recent Clean Power Plan, UK will face increasing national political pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the form of something such as a CAP. The recent decision of Eastern Kentucky University to sign on to a CAP on Oct. 20 is evidence of the shifting political and cultural values.

The decision of PSAC to prioritize the creation of a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan is a huge step forward in the right direction for the university. Greenthumb looks forward to hearing more of PSAC’s work in forming a Greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan and continues to hope that President Capilouto signs onto Second Nature’s CAP.

Greenthumb looks forward to working with Shane Tedder and the office of sustainability on promoting their shared vision of sustainability for the university.