Samantha Gibb, MASSPIRG Students Organizing Director, [email protected], 608-385-1285
DARTMOUTH, Mass. — The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth today demonstrated its commitment to protecting the environment by vowing to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“This commitment to zero carbon emissions is an essential move for our campus,” said Kiersten Kerr, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth junior and MASSPIRG Students events and coalition coordinator. “Our generation will be greatly affected by climate change, which is why more than 3,500 students stood with us in calling for a transition off of fossil fuels. We are excited to continue working with the university to fulfill this commitment by transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy.”
MASSPIRG Students, a student-led organization that campaigns for 100 percent renewable energy, among other issues, rallied thousands of students to sign petitions supporting renewable energy. Student leaders also gained endorsements for 100 percent clean energy from more than 80 faculty members and the Student Government Association, Faculty Senate and the Graduate Student Senate.
“The students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth have provided a shining example of how to build support and then deliver climate action on a college campus,” said Bronte Payne, Environment America Research & Policy Center’s 100% Renewable Campuses campaign director. “The students have provided a roadmap for engaging and working with administrators to increase action at the campus level. We need other colleges and universities to partner with their students, faculty and staff to do the same.”
The Student PIRGs and Environment America Research & Policy Center are working with students at colleges and universities across the country to convince college administrations to transition their campuses away from coal- and gas-generated power to 100 percent renewable energy. Environment America Research & Policy Center’s partner SPEAR recently clinched a similar commitment from Vanderbilt University. CALPIRG Students, in partnership with Environment America Research & Policy Center and others, brokered a similar promise from the University of California, Berkeley.
“By committing to zero carbon emissions by 2050, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is taking an important step toward a clean, renewable future,” said Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts. “I’m thrilled to see UMass Dartmouth join the movement for climate action, and I hope we’ll see state officials build upon this leadership by passing the 100% Renewable Energy Act.”