Sustainability Director, Facilities Planning & Management
WHITEWATER, WI., December 1, 2020 — As part of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s initiative to address the university’s impact on climate change, the Sustainability Council is requesting individuals from the university and broader community to learn more about and consider participating in a Climate Action Task Force in Spring 2021.
This effort was initiated by shared governance leadership from Whitewater Student Government and the Faculty Senate to ask Chancellor Dwight Watson to consider signing the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, a plan administered by Second Nature. The Climate Commitment challenges university leadership to address the institution’s contributions to climate change by developing a greenhouse gas inventory, engaging a community task force, and creating a resilience assessment and climate action plan. Chancellor Watson signed the Climate Commitment in December 2019.
Three task forces will convene to address distinct approaches to addressing climate change and resiliency. The Energy and Operations Task Force centers around the university’s overall environmental footprint, such as its energy consumption and other sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The Academic Engagement Task Force focuses on research, curriculum, and general university engagement on related topics. The Community and Resiliency Task Force targets community engagement, regional adaptation, and resilience. Potential overlapping goals include achieving a climate neutrality date, determining milestones for increasing resiliency measures, and expanding awareness of issues attributed to or amplified by climate change.
Membership is open to anyone interested in addressing climate change through your individual identities, perspectives, and various areas and levels of expertise. We are seeking individuals from a wide range of campus and community representatives to ensure diversity and inclusion of many stakeholder perspectives. If you are interested in this effort and want to learn more about any of them, fill out the survey and you will be invited to a future informational session to describe next steps and involvement opportunities. Please share with any friends and colleagues you think might be interested as well: https://tinyurl.com/climatetaskforce.