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Petition: Carbon Neutral Purdue by 2030

This petition comes as a joint effort between the West Lafayette Students for Climate Action and the Purdue Student Sustainability Council. Climate change is a multifaceted issue threatening us socially, economically, and existentially. These threats are not only amplified in low-income communities but will affect all of our futures. This petition is just one component of a huge campaign, led by students, spanning several actions that has serious potential to change Purdue’s course for the better. Volunteer below to help beyond signing this petition.

We are students working to pressure Purdue Admin to make Purdue completely carbon neutral by 2030 and create a stronger sustainability office in administration, where prevalent socioeconomic concerns such as diversity and student life already reside.

Purdue can use the Purdue-centric climate action plan which students have created with faculty review over the past year, open a dialogue with local governments who wish to include Purdue's perspective on climate planning, or do both to take action in a way that best suits the university's future.

We have support from over 60 student and community organizations, representing tens of thousands of students and local citizens, so far. You may be a member of one or more of these groups from across the board helping our revolutionary cause:

  • Political groups, like College Democrats and College Republicans
  • Minority groups, like the Asian Student Union Board and Society of Women Engineers
  • Greek Life, like Purdue Cooperatives and the Interfraternity Council
  • Representative groups, like the Residence Hall Association and Purdue Student Government
  • STEM groups, like Purdue Space Program and Society of Environmental and Ecological Engineers
  • Religious groups, like St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and Unitarian Universalist Church
  • Community organizations, like the Center for Urban Health and city/statewide elected officials

 

Carbon neutrality is the offset of environmental damage from using fossil fuels by implementing effective techniques like retrofitting old buildings for better efficiency, implementing simple carbon sequesters, creating long-term practical plans for renewable power to wean off of fossil fuels, and increasing net tree cover.

The financial benefits are strong for admin. Many institutions have instituted their plans, publicly available on SecondNature.org. In the Midwest alone, Ball State now saves more than $2 million per year which it re-invests into its infrastructure and Ohio State maintains frozen tuition.

It is unrealistic to pull away from fossil fuels entirely overnight, considering Purdue's contracts and dependence, but carbon neutrality commitments, paired with a strong renewable energy goal, is an achievable and tremendous first step, as seen in institutions, cities, states, and 11 of 14 Big Ten Schools (including Indiana University - Bloomington).

It is time that Purdue catches up and leads by example. These changes will be forced to happen in the future with our backs against the wall, so why not take this small step now that will contribute to a giant leap? Let us leave our community one brick higher for ourselves and our future generations.

Volunteer below to help beyond signing the petition and be a voice for Purdue students!Our actions and volunteer committees involve event planning, publicity, our letter to admin, student government legislation, expansion to statewide schools, and creating a climate action plan for admin.

For any questions, feel free to contact Mason Merkel at [email protected] and follow us @wl4climateaction on Instagram!

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  • Claire Gould
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