Indiana Daily Student

LETTER: IU must ‘fulfill the promise’ and commit to carbon neutrality

The planetary clock is ticking. With past generations — including the administrators of IU — dancing around the urgency of climate action, our generation must come together to fight for our collective future.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, a diverse coalition of students have organized a protest in Dunn Meadow to demand climate action from IU, and we are inviting you to join us. 

As global carbon emissions rise, we are seeing the effects of worsening natural disasters, rising sea levels and reduced agricultural yields. It should be blatantly obvious that the cost of mitigating climate change will be far lower than the cost to react to the effects of climate change, which will disproportionately burden low-income people, communities of color and Indigenous peoples.

Indiana ranks first in greenhouse gas emissions in the Midwest, according to the Hoosier Environmental Council, with our university contributing to this crisis instead of finding sustainable solutions to chronic carbon emissions. 

The Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System reported that IU emitted 313,831 metric tons of carbon dioxide between July 2018 and July 2019 — which is equivalent to each of IU’s 48,514 students driving a car 16,172 miles. 

IU has an obligation to lead the way in climate change action, and our prestigious research efforts will not be enough. IU tells us they are “fulfilling the promise” but there will be no promise to fulfill without a livable future. 

The IU Bicentennial Strategic Plan commits to “sustainability, stewardship and accountability for the natural, human and economic resources and relationships entrusted to IU.” To live up to its standards, IU must commit to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. 

Once this commitment is made by the IU administration, we need IU to keep the promise to its students by involving us in the decision-making process and providing clear communication between the organizations achieving this goal and the student body. 

IU, keep the promise. For your students. For the future. For the planet. 

In solidarity, 

Students for a New Green World, IU Student Government Environmental Affairs Committee 

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