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Penn State Aims For 100% Reduction In Greenhouse Emissions By 2035

Last week, Penn State’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force released a plan for the university to achieve a 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. 

The task force, formed by President Eric Barron and comprised of nearly two dozen faculty, staff, and student members, aims to address climate change-related issues. Its co-chairs are Rob Cooper, the director of energy and sustainability at the Office of the Physical Plant, and Tim White, a professor in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

The task force’s 200-page plan calls for a phased approach to reducing emissions, starting with a 55% decrease in emissions by 2025 and a 70% decrease in emissions by 2030. Specific recommendations include electrifying Penn State’s fleet vehicles, expanding solar infrastructure, and decarbonizing heating and cooling systems across campus.

“The scientific evidence is clear that action must be taken to avoid the devastating impacts of climate change,” Barron said in a statement. “Penn State has an extraordinary legacy of meeting society’s grand challenges with innovation and commitment.”

While some of the proposals are expected to be costly, Penn State is considering reaching out to corporations and philanthropists for additional funding.

“I am grateful to the task force members for their efforts to identify actionable steps that Penn State can take to achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Barron. “Penn State has some of the best and brightest experts working on climate change issues, and we are well-positioned to make significant progress.”

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About the Author

Adam Babetski

Adam Babetski is a senior double majoring in broadcast journalism and medieval history and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He's from the only part of Virginia without tractors and southern accents, except Richmond (reportedly). You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBabetski for hot takes about sports. For serious inquiries, email [email protected].

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