The President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality and campus sustainability groups are convening multiple upcoming virtual events to discuss the commission’s draft recommendations, which were released last month.

The commission, charged with recommending scalable, transferrable and financially responsible strategies for U-M to achieve net-zero emissions, seeks to raise awareness and garner feedback on its recent report.

Forthcoming events include:

  • A campuswide information session Jan. 21, intended for those who haven’t been closely following carbon neutrality efforts at U-M. The event will feature PCCN co-chairs Jennifer Haverkamp and Stephen Forrest, and will provide attendees with a high-level overview of carbon neutrality, the commission’s process and its draft recommendations.
  • A community conversation Jan. 19, convened by the Planet Blue Ambassador program for faculty, staff and community members interested in sharing their perspectives and feedback. The first of these conversations took place Jan. 13.
  • A community conversation Jan. 20, convened by the Student Sustainability Coalition, for students interested in sharing their perspectives and feedback. The first of these conversations took place Jan. 14.

Last week, the carbon commission presented an overview of its work to the Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovations, which drafted the recent A2Zero climate plan, and numerous A2Zero partner organizations. The commission also is hosting discussions with its Student Advisory Panel, the Student Sustainability Coalition and expert faculty from across the university.

The commission encourages students, staff, faculty and community members from across the university and surrounding communities to review its draft report and submit feedback through its public comment portal, which will remain open through Jan. 26.

Once the commission reviews and considers all public comments, it will submit a final set of recommendations to President Mark Schlissel in February.

The recent draft report outlines a pathway for U-M to potentially:

  • Reach carbon neutrality for Scope 1 emissions — resulting from on-campus sources — across all three campuses by 2025 (inclusive of carbon offsets) and eliminate direct Scope 1 emissions entirely by 2040.
  • Achieve carbon neutrality for Scope 2 emissions — resulting from purchased electricity — across all three campuses by 2025.
  • Establish, by 2025, carbon neutrality goal dates for Scope 3 emission categories that are set for no later than 2040. Scope 3 emission are those resulting from indirect sources like commuting and university-sponsored travel.

Proposed recommendations delve into a number of distinct topics crucial to U-M’s carbon neutrality push, including: heating and cooling infrastructure, mobility electrification, carbon pricing, parking and commuting, sustainability curriculum and literacy options, new building standards, university-sponsored travel, plant-forward dining options, upstream emissions, biosequestration and carbon offsets.

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