GW climate plan stays on schedule

Correction appended

The Office of Sustainability and Climate Action Plan implementation teams are on schedule to complete the promised road map to make GW carbon neutral by its deadline of May 15, a University administrator said this week.

Sophie Waskow, the stakeholder engagement coordinator of the Office of Sustainability, said an overview of the plan will be unveiled April 22 at an Earth Day celebration, with the full plan being released on May 15.

“The Climate Action Plan implementation teams have made significant progress analyzing different strategies for reducing carbon emissions resulting from the University’s energy and transportation activities,” Waskow said in an e-mail. Waskow declined to provide any additional details until the plan is released.

The University is responsible for drafting a CAP after University President Steven Knapp signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in April 2008.

In the days leading up to May 15, the implementation teams will be finalizing the written portion of the CAP, which will be available through the ACUPCC Web site and the Office of Sustainability, Waskow said.

After May 15, the CAP teams will start the implementation stage of the plan, the beginnings of which will be decided in the next month.

Throughout the development process, the Office of Sustainability, as well as other organizations throughout campus, have emphasized individual students’ impact on the process.

“We are looking forward to everyone’s support and participation in reducing GW’s carbon footprint by turning off lights and unplugging electronics when not in use,” Waskow said. “Every action counts.”

Spencer Olson, president of Green GW, said he has been on an advisory committee that sought his input as a student in crafting the CAP.

Olson, a senior, said he is looking forward to the release of the CAP, adding that he hopes the plan includes long-term goals to implement solar energy technology on campus. He also said he hopes for a concrete plan that will make dining more sustainable at GW.

“This is something the University, students and Green GW have been working on for years,” Olson said in reference to finding ways to make GW a more sustainable university. “Now there are going to be plans laid out and out in the open, and that’s really exciting.”

Correction appended (April 8, 2010)

The article originally stated that the Climate Action Plan would be unveiled April 22. An overview of the plan will be released on that date, and the full plan will be released on May 15.

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