Rutgers University in New Jersey announced a Climate Action Plan and established the Office of Climate Action, which will lead the university's efforts to eliminate greenhouse gases and be carbon neutral by 2040.
"Achieving these imperative goals will involve everyone in our university community and every aspect—from the day-to-day operations of the institution and our approach to facilities, policy, and financial decision-making to Rutgers' cutting-edge teaching, clinical services, and research," said Dr. Jonathan Holloway, president of Rutgers.
Over 21 months, the president's Task Force on Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience developed the Climate Action Plan to guide Rutgers through the next three decades. The Task Force was co-chaired by two Rutgers faculty members: Dr. Bob Kopp, professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and climate scientist, and Dr. Kevin Lyons, associate professor of professional practice and supply chain sustainability expert.
Kopp and Lyons will co-direct the Office of Climate Action with Dr. Angela Oberg, assistant teaching professor in the Department of Human Ecology, as the associate director.
"Rutgers is a national leader in linking climate research to community needs and was also an early pioneer of on-campus renewable energy," said Lyons.
The office will work across campuses and with local communities to build climate adaptation plans as well as form a culture of sustainability, including bringing climate action into academic research and teaching.
"Hurricane Ida reminded New Jersey how critical it is to both stabilize the global climate and adapt to the changes we've already locked in," said Kopp. "Rutgers' Climate Action Plan isn't just about putting our own house in order—it's about mobilizing all the strengths of the university to address one of the most critical challenges humankind faces."