On January 18, UNC Student Government hosted an Energy Transition Town Hall, featuring three panelists from Sustainable Carolina as well as four students who are all working to make the University more environmentally sustainable. Michael Piehler, Chief Sustainability Officer, and Melanie Elliott, Sustainability Analyst, kicked off the event by outlining Carolina’s past and current efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially from on-campus fossil fuel combustion and procured electricity. After a first round of questions from the audience, Alex Hopkins then talked about the UNC’s Energy Transition Initiative and how it is meant to help the University reach its carbon neutrality target by 2040.
The ensuing discussion about the campus cogeneration plant and the need for higher climate ambition was lively and controversial. Finally, representatives from Student Government and the Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee (RESPC) – including TAM student Jimmy Doegerl ’24 – rounded off the event by encouraging attendees to get involved and become part of the movement for a greener UNC.
Students who want to get involved can join the Climate Crisis Committee and stay up to date via our GroupMe: https://web.groupme.com/join_group/89060712/sUsQGC2B