Resolution 09-01 - Climate Commitment

Resolution 09-01 - Climate Commitment



Approved by the Faculty Senate

March 25, 2009

Proposed Resolution on the American College and University
Presidents Climate Commitment

Alan Journet / Ex 2366

Whereas the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established in 1987 by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Union and comprising representatives from across the planet, is the most authoritative expert international panel providing analyses and summaries of the evidence regarding climate change, and

Whereas the IPCC in its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) states that:

1.the existence of global warming is unequivocal

2.the probability of anthropogenic emissions contributing to this global warming is greater than 90%

3.there is greater than 90% confidence that anthropogenic releases of greenhouse gases have caused a detectable warming of the planet since the industrial revolution in the late 1700s, and

Whereas the range of predicted consequences for Global Warming within the next century include a high end possibility of awarming of 6 degrees Centigrade, and

Whereas a global temperature increase of 6 degrees centigrade would most likely have a devastating impact on the planet's natural systems, includingits agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and

Whereas the primary contributor to the problem of climate change is most probably anthropogenically released greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, methane and oxides of nitrogen, and

Whereas, a major cause of these gases is burning fossil fuels in energy generation and transportation, and

Whereas, Southeast Missouri State University is a significant regional emitter of greenhouse gasses, and

Whereas, among the Priorities and Objectives in the recently approved Southeast Missouri State University Strategic Plan the institution has committed itself to:

-“promote safety and sustainability and lead the region's efforts to protect the environment and conserve natural resources (Priority V)

-“Develop, enhance and strengthen strategies to promote ecological sustainability and to protect the environment and conserve natural resources.”(Priority V, Objective IV), and

Whereas, the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment represents a commitment on the part of 614 institutions of higher education across the nation to reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, and

Whereas, among the institutions endorsing the U.S. Presidents Commitment on Climate Change are many sister institutions in Missouri (Missouri University of Science and Technology, University of Missouri – Columbia, University of Missouri – St. Louis, University of Missouri – Kansas City, University of Central Missouri, St. Louis Community College, Florissant Valley, Drury University, Park University, Webster University).

Whereas, universities should serve as leaders and role models in the area of environmental protection,

Be It Resolved that:

The Southeast Missouri State University Faculty Senate recommend(s) that President Dobbins become a signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment and encourage(s) every unit within the University to undertake considered steps to reduce energy consumption, and through the conduct of its day-to-day activities, reduce to the extent possible both its direct and indirect contribution to carbon dioxide emissions.

In order to underscore the extent of institutional support for this proposal (if it exists), it would be helpful if all units and organizations on campus were to endorse the resolution (with or without the ‘Whereas” Preamble clauses).

For further Information, visit

The Commitment

1.Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible.

a.Within two months of signing this document, create institutional structures to guide the development and implementation of the plan.

b.Within one year of signing this document, complete a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air travel) and update the inventory every other year thereafter.

c.Within two years of signing this document, develop an institutional action plan for becoming climate neutral, which will include:

i.A target date for achieving climate neutrality as soon as possible.

ii.Interim targets for goals and actions that will lead to climate neutrality.

iii.Actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experience for all students.

iv.Actions to expand research or other efforts necessary to achieve climate neutrality.

d.Mechanisms for tracking progress on goals and actions.

2.Initiate two or more of the following tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is being developed.

a.Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver standard or equivalent.

b.Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.

c.Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by our institution.

d.Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at our institution.

e.Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of our institution's electricity consumption from renewable sources.

f.Establish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder proposals at companies where our institution's endowment is invested.

g.Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.

3.Make the action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available by providing them to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for posting and dissemination.