Harvard sets target to be fossil-fuel-free by 2050 - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Energy Procurement, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 9, 2018

Harvard sets target to be fossil-fuel-free by 2050

Harvard has announced goals to be fossil-fuel-neutral by 2026 and fossil-fuel-free by 2050. Based on recommendations from the university’s Climate Change Task Force, these goals would be met through the expanded use of sustainable energy sources. 

According to a report from Harvard Magazine, the 2050 goal follows the standard that the cities of Cambridge and Boston have announced they would expect of institutions by that year. Additionally, Massachusetts has made a significant commitment to augment its supplies of sustainable energy, which may make it easier for state consumers and institutions to shift their mix of purchased electricity.

The university expects to take other steps to increase sustainability on campus, including the creation of a new Sustainability Executive Committee of faculty, administrators, and students to administer the University’s fossil-fuel-emissions reduction strategy and to provide periodic reviews of progress related to its short- and long-term sustainability goals. Additionally, a strategic-planning process will address ways to further reduce reliance on fossil fuels in electricity procurement, transportation, district energy supply, and capital planning.

These targets come a year after the university announced it had reached its goal of reducing its greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 percent from 2006 levels. Success is attributed in part to greater reliance on electricity generated using natural gas, a less carbon-intensive fuel than those it is supplanting. 

In a letter to the Harvard community, President Drew Faust said, "The University’s commitment to addressing climate change is broad and unwavering. But we must also recognize that our progress and planning will require agility, continual assessment, and adaptation as we react to new research, as well as technical and market developments in the months and years ahead."

Tags: Harvard

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