Submitted on June 21, 2013; last updated on June 21, 2013
Carbon neutrality will be reached by decreasing 25% below 2008 levels every 10 years.
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We expect to work toward this goal by reducing carbon emissions by 25%, or roughly 4,125 tonnes CO2e, every ten years in the intervening period. These emission reductions will come from a combination of measures, including improved building design, building retrofits, purchasing green energy, converting the Drake fleet to electric vehicles, local food purchasing, and encouraging alternative modes of carpooling, and the purchasing of carbon offsets. This Climate Action Plan is a statement of goals, with various levels of specificity for near and long-term goals. We expect our implementation strategies to change over time as new technologies are introduced, others become more affordable, and our campus community chooses priorities
Drake has been quite successful in its efforts to provide a strong sustainability-related curriculum, and so our goals under education are not as ambitious as our goals elsewhere. However, we would like to continue to develop new opportunities for students in this area, and success will be measured in terms of growth in student interest.
Drake is working to improve its ability to train sustainability professionals and educators. With the construction of a new community garden learning center, we will expand Drake’s environmental education efforts to K-12 students in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa. Drake seniors are currently designing a curriculum for use in the garden that addresses Iowa’s core science learning objectives through sustainability education. Moreover, this facility will improve the ability of our School of Education to prepare new teachers to provide sustainability-related coursework.
We also hope to use the President’s Climate Commitment to improve our students’ ability to think quantitatively about carbon emissions by having students in our ENSP 35 class calculate the carbon footprint.
Through programs such as the Environmental Science and Policy Program, the Agricultural Law Center, Global and Comparative Public Health, and others, Drake endeavors to engage in an organized, sustainability-related research program that allows undergraduate and graduate students to learn important research skills as well as contribute to our understanding of the interactions between humans and the natural world.
Drake University endeavors to be a place where academic, policy-relevant conversations can go on in Iowa's capital city. We are currently organizing a conference of Iowa scientists and others who are interested in the topic of climate change in an attempt to increase dialogue on the topic and identify solutions (both adaptation and mitigation) within our state. Through work at the new Harkin Institute for Policy Studies, in our Buxbaum Lecture Series, and elsewhere, we intend to enable conversations across disciplines and into our community.
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