Trenton - Rutgers University publicly released its long-awaited Climate Action Plan, which lays out ambitious climate mitigation goals for the University including carbon neutrality by 2040. This goal was chosen so that the University could be carbon negative by 2041, the school’s 275th anniversary. Rutgers will achieve carbon neutrality through a 20% reduction in fossil fuel consumption by 2030 and 100% by 2040, compared to 2019 levels, electrifying the University’s fleet, and increasing carbon sequestration.
This Climate Action Plan comes from over a year of Town Halls and other stakeholder engagement processes to hear the thoughts and concerns of students, faculty, staff, and the community and culminated a nearly two year process. In June 2021, The President’s Task Force on Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience presented the Climate Action Plan to President Holloway, which has now been released to the public.
Hayley Berliner, Clean Energy Advocate with Environment New Jersey issued the following statement:
“Rutgers’ Climate Action Plan clearly indicates the University’s commitment to doing its part to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We are particularly encouraged by the intention to fully electrify the University’s fleet, including buses, considering how dangerous diesel vehicles are to the environment and human health -- causing and exacerbating asthma, heart and lung disease, and premature death.
“NJ Transit has already committed to electrifying 10% of their bus purchases by 2024, a goal they recently confirmed at the Energy and Sustainability Policy Committee Meeting in May, and 100% by 2032. Two electric bus pilot programs, operated by NJ Transit, should be up and running shortly in both Camden and Newark, which will prove the readiness and cost-effectiveness of electric buses in New Jersey. These pilots should inform Rutgers’ electrification efforts and also provide clean rides for Rutgers students at those two campuses. We need to electrify everything on wheels in New Jersey to protect public health and mitigate climate change, and Rutgers is stepping up and doing its part.”
Read more about the climate action plan and the work that the NJPIRG Students did to make the plan a reality: https://njpirgstudents.org/2021/10/01/rutgers-university-carbon-neutrality-announcement/.