New campaign launched on 30 campuses urges colleges and universities to shift to 100 percent clean renewable power
BOSTON -- As national campus sustainability month kicks off, Environment America Research & Policy Center is launching 30 campaigns in 11 states, pressing colleges and universities to generate 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources. The initiative aims to get 150 schools to commit by 2021 to exclusively using renewable energy.
The nationwide effort includes targeted weeks of action, petition drives and direct engagement with administration officials to reach this goal. Thousands of students and faculty from every region of the country are expected to mobilize for this cause.
“Students are movement makers,” said Bronte Payne, Environment America Research & Policy Center’s 100 Percent Renewable Campuses Campaign Director. “From battling for civil rights to fighting against climate change, students have organized and mobilized for decades to create the world we want to live in. By shifting to 100 percent renewable energy, colleges and universities can play a leadership role by speeding up the clean energy transition that all Americans want and need - and the cleaner, healthier future that it will bring.”
This coordinated national campaign comes on the heels of significant momentum for the 100 Percent Renewable Campuses campaign. This past spring, Vanderbilt University became the first university in the southeast to commit to 100 percent renewable energy. Elsewhere, Middlebury College, the University of California Berkeley and Brown University also announced during the past year a commitment to powering their campuses with clean renewable energy. There are currently dozens of campuses that have made the 100 percent commitment.
Numerous student leaders across the country are voicing support for this initiative.
“From my sophomore year to my senior year at UMass Amherst, we’ve made progress in pushing for a 100 percent renewable campus,” said senior Kaitlyn Mitchell, MASSPIRG campaign coordinator. “But more work needs to be done. This coordinated national push is a reminder to both students and faculty on our campus that we’re not alone in this effort. We see a renewed opportunity this fall to advocate for this vital change and, with a seat at the table with UMass leaders, we will work hard to turn our university completely renewable.”
“Since its founding, Barnard has been a leader among institutions of higher education,” said Barnard College senior Grace Palmer, who is a member of the school’s 100% Renewable Energy campaign. “Today, the students of Barnard ask that it honor that role and demonstrate bold climate leadership by making a commitment to 100 percent renewable energy.”
Environment America Research & Policy Center works to protect clean water, clean air, and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.