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Students Devise Climate Action Plan to Reduce Mason’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Pictured here are eight students from the CAP team* (enrolled in EVPP490, 692 and 991), along with their professor, Dann Sklarew
The average George Mason University member emits over 4 metric tons of greenhouse gases [GHG] per year while on campus and commuting to and from campus. In spring 2009, a team of nine undergraduate, masters and doctoral students designed Mason’s first Climate Action Plan [CAP] to reduce our net GHG emissions. Their target: “Starting in 2010, George Mason University will reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions each year by 5% of 2005 levels.” To get there, these students worked with Mason’s Sustainability Office to convene diverse teams of students, faculty, and staff to devise and vet practical solutions. Across sub-groups focused on transportation, residences, classrooms, offices and Mason’s master plan, they jointly identified over 250 potential GHG-reduction opportunities. Students then elaborated upon about a dozen opportunities to serve as a set of “seed projects” for Mason to pursue over the next two years. The results of their concerted efforts will be polished over the summer, then presented in the fall to President Alan G. Merten for his approval and hoped-for enactment. Pictured here are eight students from the CAP team* (enrolled in EVPP490, 692 and 991), along with their professor, Dann Sklarew.

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