Submitted on January 12, 2010; last updated on January 12, 2010
By following the attached Climate Action Plan, the Monterey Institute of International Studies will accomplish the carbon neutrality goal no later than January 1, 2016. While a more detailed and formal Carbon Neutrality Plan is in the final stages of the approval process, the strategy outlined here is an accurate representation of the steps MIIS will take to achieve carbon neutrality by the stated deadline.
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MIIS will employ a combination of energy efficiency, materials conservation efforts, incentives to limit air travel, and carbon offsets to reach the neutrality goal. The specific energy efficiency measures employed are as follows: timers and motion sensors on campus lights; lighting system equipment retrofits; and application of networked computer power saving software. A policy that will incorporate the cost of air travel emissions offsets into employee travel budgets is also currently under review. Other measures intended to minimize the consumption of materials related to campus printing are concurrently underway.
The carbon neutrality plan will hinge on maximizing conservation in these two areas while investing the associated cost savings in a revolving fund. The Institute has determined that the savings from these programs are sufficient to purchase offsets for the remainder of its emissions from air travel and other sources. January 1, 2016 has been identified as an absolute latest deadline for this offset purchase, although it is possible that it will occur sooner, based on the success of the measures mentioned above.
The pursuit of carbon neutrality and the broader goal of sustainability provide a plethora of opportunities for students to enhance their educational experience at the Monterey Institute. For example, all greenhouse gas audits, the carbon neutrality plan, and initiatives related to tangible action points have been developed and implemented by students. In the future, as the Institute begins to purchase carbon credits as part of our carbon neutrality initiative, students will have the opportunity to compare various carbon offset providers across a spectrum of criteria to determine the program most suitable to the Institute's specific emissions profile, needs, and interests. Students have consitently applied curriculum materials and concepts such as calculating the financial, environmental, social costs as well as the policy implications, in finding solutions to campus sustainability problems.
Faculty within the International Environmental Policy (IEP) Program have contributed significantly to the literature and research on climate change, and continue to publish regularly on the topic. Mitigating climate change, adapting in the face of increasing environmental pressures, and the economic underpinnings of climate change policy are all areas in which IEP faculty and students are deeply involved. Specifically, Dr.'s Scorse, Williams, and Langholz have all published in this field. Dr. Williams is teaching a seminar on Greening the Grid: The Present, Past, and Future of Electric Power Systems in the Fall of 2009.
The Monterey Institute of International Studies is a proud member of the local community. Every year, the Institute hosts community Earth Day events designed to spread the message about climate change and sea level rise, which is a particularly critical issue for our coastal community. Furthermore, the Institute is frequently the host of educational events such as speakers, panel discussions, and conferences, devoted to this topic. The Institute has also begun hosting a weekly Environmental Speaker Series, which is offered for free to students and the general public, providing a communal space for people to learn about environmental issues and speak directly to experts in the field.
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