Climate Change & The Campus

Universities can play a particularly valuable role in addressing climate change. As “mini-cities” they can account for a large percentage of a community’s greenhouse gas emissions. The energy used each day by thousands of students and employees to commute, to heat and cool buildings, to power sophisticated lab equipment, to light perfor­mance spaces and sports facilities, and to power every other function of a university all adds up to create a large “carbon footprint.”

But colleges and universities are also relatively free to set policies to manage their immediate impact on local environments. They can provide good opportunities to promote stewardship and innovation. Moreover, as an economic engine, an incubator of innovation, and as a resource for research, education, and community outreach, colleges and universities can also have an influence on public policy.

Thus the policies and practices adopted at a college or university can be expected to affect change at the personal and local level, perhaps influencing policy at the regional level as well. Finally, through education and research, our colleges and universities can develop the leaders, strategies, and relationships capable of influencing policies and practices at the national and international level

Resources

Climate Change and the Campus (Background Document)

This background document provides detailed background information and is divided into three main sections: 1) How the scientific community understands the issue of climate change and how a peer review consensus has emerged regarding the fact of climate change and the causes of climate change; 2) the consequences of climate change and 3) climate change and the campus.

Climate Change and the Campus (Discussion Guide)

An abbreviated version of the Climate Change and the Campus background document. These materials were used by 20 colleges and universities across the country in the Fall of 2012

Climate Change and the Campus (Final Report)

This report contains both quantitative data and qualitative input resulting from Carnegie Mellon University's deliberative forum on Climate Change and the Campus.

The Impact of Climate Change on Food Security (Flyer/Discussion Guide)

This 2-page flyer was used to guide the discussion in a 2011 deliberative forum held in Doha, Qatar’s Education City.

The Impact of Climate Change on Food Security (Final Report)

This report contains both quantitative data and qualitative input resulting from Education City's deliberative forum on the Impact of Climate Change on Food Security.

Visual Graphic on Climate Change

Bob Horn used his Visual Language technique to create a decision chart outlining the temporal dimensions for understanding the challenges of a changing climate. The outline follows two paths: Business as Usual vs Changes in Energy Policy and Use.