March 20, 2017

Cornell to host carbon neutrality forum March 28

Cornell’s Senior Leaders Climate Action Group (SLCAG) will host a public forum Tuesday, March 28, to discuss its report, “Options for Achieving a Carbon Neutral Campus by 2035,” from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Hotel Ithaca, 222 S. Cayuga St.

Released in the fall, the report builds off Cornell’s existing Climate Action Plan, further outlining solutions to reduce energy demands and increase clean energy supply. Following the presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session for community members.

Cornell has made positive strides in energy reduction. While campus has grown by more than 2 million square feet over the past decade, its energy consumption has decreased through conservation initiatives and increased efficiency. But achieving carbon neutrality in a cold-weather climate means eliminating fossil fuel-dependent heating. Due to the scale of Cornell’s heating needs, the Earth Source Heat project – combined with solar, wind, hydro and improving energy efficiency – provides favorable options for realizing carbon neutrality.

The forum panelists will be:

• SLCAG Co-chair Lance Collins, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering;

• SLCAG Co-Chair Bill Sitzabee, interim vice president for infrastructure, properties and planning;

• Todd Cowen, professor of civil and environmental engineering and the Kathy Dwyer Marble and Curt Marble Faculty Director for Energy, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future;

• Robert Howarth, the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology;

• Katie Keranen, assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences;

• Joel Malina, vice president for university relations;

• Paul Streeter, vice president for budget and planning;

• Jefferson W. Tester, the Croll Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems and director of the Cornell Energy Institute; and

• Sarah Zemanick, director of the Campus Sustainability Office.