Why are no details provided about meeting the goals?
The petition is simply setting targets for carbon emissions reductions and asking that the college commit to meeting those targets by developing a Climate Action Plan (i.e. it hasn't been written yet!) Although there are plenty of examples of what other colleges are currently doing to meet their own targets, in order for a plan to be truly effective, it needs to take a lot of things into consideration: current levels of emissions and cost-benefit analysis of various actions, to name a couple. The process of developing a plan took Yale almost a year. What we propose is that the college adopt the targets right away, and then immediately hire someone who can do the proper analyses to develop a plan that is suited to Williams. The urgency is that, considering how long an action plan can take, and considering how far behind other colleges (and Williamstown!) we are, we need to take the first initial steps now.
What is a Climate Action Plan?
The Plan will provide a program and timeline for achieving the emissions targets laid out in the petition. The College first needs to conduct a greenhouse gas emissions inventory to see what we are producing. Then Facilities and other staff members will be able to devise the appropriate plan for meeting emissions standards. The first phase of reductions can be achieved through buying more renewable energy. There is already a program in development where students can buy their own renewable power. The second phase will require more institutional changes, such as green building features, some of which are already in place in the new student center and in the plans for other buildings.
How will Williams work toward these targets?
The Plan will serve as the guide. This petition requests that the College hire a sustainability coordinator who will be able to work with Facilities to create a professional and efficient Plan for emissions reductions.
How did you come up with those targets?
The targets are similar to those advanced in other collegesâ€™ and municipalitiesâ€™ climate action plans. In addition, CEAC has considered Williamsâ€™ emissions from 2000 and determined that these figures are within our reach.
Have you talked to Facilities about this?
Irene Addison, the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Auxiliary Services, is a staff member of the Campus Environmental Advisory Committee (CEAC), so she is aware that there is demand for a Climate Action Plan and that this petition is being circulated.
Is the Climate Action Plan in the school's budget?
Since the Plan has not yet been developed, it is not in the budget. However, because Facilities and possibly a sustainability coordinator will be creating the Plan, it will have the power to influence the budget to accommodate the necessary changes. The College is used to some of these considerations because of building design and construction processes that have undergone environmental review.
Who is this petition being sent to?
Morty and the Board of Trustees.
Why do you want Williams to do this?
The primary reasons are listed on the main Climate Initiative page.
What else can I do to support climate action?
Help with tabling: email 06enl.
What other environmental initiatives has Williams College taken
Check out the 2005-2006 Environmental State of the Campus Report.