Kutztown University, It's Time for Climate Action

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According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2018 report, we must actively work to limit the warming of the earth to no more than 1.5 °C in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis. Kutztown University has yet to take a strong stance on this issue, despite being an institution of higher learning. 

Campuses cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels that make students and communities sick and deepens climate disruption. Young people especially are impacted by pollution from coal plants and other fossil fuels and will face more threats from the impacts of climate change. Campuses have a moral obligation to their students and to their surrounding communities to actively plan for climate change and lead in the transition from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy.

As a major energy user, Kutztown University’s demand for clean energy can transform the energy market. Campuses have a unique opportunity to serve as models for the rest of the nation as they choose clean energy solutions that benefit their students and communities. Nearby Millersville University and Lehigh University have created sustainability and climate action plans for their campuses and beyond, proving that planning is a necessary step for the resilience of university communities.We want to express our strong support for Kutztown University to take the following actions:

  • Join over 600 institutions, including neighboring West Chester University and Gettysburg College, in signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), pledging the university to a series of actions that will ultimately reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero and to incorporate sustainability further into the university’s curriculum. In doing so, we will be leading in our own community by “modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions, and by providing the knowledge and the educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality.” 
  • Clearly and publicly commit to a goal of carbon neutrality and to campus-wide 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030. Kutztown University must create a climate action plan in collaboration with  students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members by March 2021. That collaborative process and firm deadline will make it possible for Kutztown Universityto carry out the goals of the University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in a way that addresses the intersectionality of climate change and the current and future needs of the university community. The plan must highlight the necessary actions and intermediate goals the university should take to achieve carbon neutrality and 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030. 

By officially committing to the carbon neutrality goal, Kutztown University will pave the way for other universities throughout the country as well as our local community. The student body is prepared to do its part — please join us in protecting our future.Thank you for your consideration. 

Sincerely,

Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Members of the Kutztown Community, Healthy Campus Bill of Rights, Sunrise Movement Berks, Reading for 100, and the undersigned