Climate Action History
In 2007, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s President Freeman Hrabowski joined 330 other institutions of higher education presidents in signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACCUPC). Through this action, UMBC joined a national initiative focused on mobilizing the various resources of institutions of higher education to reduce greenhouse gases. At the core of this commitment, is to identify viable paths to achieve net-zero greenhouse gases or climate neutrality.
President Hrabowski stated, “This document expresses our deep concern regarding ‘the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic, and ecological effects.’ It also emphasizes the need for ‘colleges and universities [to] exercise leadership in their communities and throughout society’ in addressing climate change.”
President Hrabowski’s commitment catalyzed UMBC’s commitment to sustainability and climate action and identified the following goals:
- Develop a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible.
- Initiate a number of tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while the more comprehensive plan is developed.
- Publish our action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports.
To help to achieve the goals the University formed the Climate Change Task Force (CCTF), today is known as the Climate Action Steering Committee (CASC). University leadership charged the shared governance CCTF with the development, oversite, and promotion of campus actions to achieve the ACUPCC commitment. The CCTF worked with campus stakeholders to complete a greenhouse gas inventory and to establish the University’s first Climate Action Plan. The CAP established 2007 as the University’s baseline year for greenhouse gas emissions. Based on the data and projections available at the time, the University adopted the year 2075 as our carbon neutrality date.
Climate Action Progress
Since the adoption of the CAP UMBC has reduced emissions by 20% as compared to the baseline year of 2007. On average, UMBC observes a reduction of emissions of 2% per annum. For more information please visit our interactive dashboard: http://bit.ly/UMBCDASH