Electrify Georgia Tech by 2030

Electrify Georgia Tech by 2030

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Electrify GT started this petition to Georgia Institute of Technology and

To the Administration of the Georgia Institute of Technology and President Cabrera:


In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a bombshell Special Report warning of the catastrophic effects of global warming greater than 1.5℃ beyond the pre-industrial global average temperature. The report clearly details a timeline for correcting course, including aggressive interim carbon reduction targets to achieve by 2030. Combined with the newly released updates to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Cycle Report, the science could not be clearer: it is time to act on climate change.


Over the 2019-2020 academic year, newly appointed President Ángel Cabrera led faculty, staff, and students in drafting Georgia Tech’s 2020-2030 Strategic Plan, a collaborative document flowing from buzz phrases to specific, impactful action items. This Strategic Plan reflects the best of what can be accomplished when Yellow Jackets come together for a cause. 


However, the Plan’s carbon emissions reduction targets fall dramatically short of the necessary mitigation timeline. A total reduction in emissions of 15% by 2030 is hardly leading by example. For reference, the University of Georgia’s Strategic Plan lays out a path to a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, and the Biden Administration has set their sights as high as 52% emissions abatement for the entire United States economy across the same timeframe. In the spirit of Progress and Service, our Institute can set the standard for an electrified campus by leveraging our unmatched talent and existing technology to decarbonize. 


Given the gravity of this moment in global and Institutional history, on behalf of the undersigned, Electrify GT outlines a set of four updated campus electrification targets below that properly reflect the urgency of the climate crisis and Georgia Tech’s responsibility to lead in collegiate carbon reductions. 


Georgia Tech must:

  1. Achieve 100% electrification of campus fleet vehicles by 2030, including UTVs/golf carts, light duty trucks and cars, Stinger buses, Stingerette vans, Georgia Tech Police Department vehicles, and any other vehicles owned and/or operated by Georgia Tech and its partner organizations. Given the binding contracts already awarded for busing, any provisions barring electrification that prove non-renegotiable shall be updated at the earliest legal opportunity.
  2. Replace all fossil-fuel powered equipment used for landscaping, maintenance, and fabrication with equivalent electric devices by 2025. Local air pollution, noise pollution, and high carbon emissions plague campus when small internal combustion engines reign. With recent advances in commercially available battery-powered equipment, it is now possible for all necessary tools to be electrified without hampering performance.
  3. Electrify all campus buildings by 2030 by installing high efficiency electric appliances that meet the demand for heating and cooling of air and water. This includes phasing out the gas boilers at the Holland Plant. In addition, any gas stoves and ovens in campus housing, apartments, and commercial kitchens must be replaced with induction stovetops and electric ranges to further limit the use of fossil fuels in Georgia Tech buildings.
  4. Complete the first three targets without increasing the demand for fossil fuels. Electrification constitutes a key aspect of any bold climate action plan, but it cannot come at the cost of increased Scope 2 emissions. Whether through renewable energy generation on campus or through renewable power purchase agreements, Georgia Tech must meet the additional energy demand from electrification with carbon-neutral energy sources.

The next ten years will define the trajectory of the climate and of this institution. If you, the Georgia Tech administration, align the two, we can electrify the future.


Sincerely,

The Student Leaders of Electrify GT and the undersigned members of the Georgia Tech Community

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