On October 13th, 2021, on behalf of Emory, President Gregory L. Fenves formalized Emory’s dedication to aggressive climate action by joining the United Nations Race to Zero and the Second Nature Climate Leadership Network Presidents’ Climate Commitment. By signing onto these two commitments, President Fenves united Emory with the hundreds of American institutions that have signed these commitments to take actionable and trackable steps toward reducing GHG emissions. Commendable and persistent activism from student leaders in the Emory Climate Coalition (ECC) brought these commitments to President Fenves’ attention.
In October of 2022, a Climate Action Task Force of staff, students, faculty, alumni, municipalities, and community members was charged to provide guidance and recommendations for the CAP and the Resilience Assessment. Between October 19th, 2022, and August 16th, 2023, the Climate Action Task Force met monthly to discuss opportunities for climate solutions to address Emory’s carbon footprint.
Concurrently, OSI hosted a series of six “Community Conversations” at locations around the Oxford and Druid Hills campuses and virtually to support the climate action planning process. The Community Conversations were community input sessions led by Ed Lee III, Senior Director of Inclusivity for Emory College of Arts and Sciences. The Community Conservations were inclusive of students, staff, faculty, municipal representatives and community members with no required background in climate or sustainability.
In March 2023, Emory virtually hosted a Community Resilience Building Workshop in collaboration with Second Nature and The Nature Conservancy. The goal of this workshop was to identify resilience hazards, vulnerabilities, strengths, and priorities in the Emory community through a participatory and co-productive meeting.
As students and faculty returned to campus for the fall semester, the Office of Sustainability Initiatives released a first draft of the Climate Action Plan for public comment. Feedback received by 5 p.m. September 13, 2023 will be included in the next draft, with a planned publication date of October 13, 2023.
To receive a copy of the draft plan and to provide feedback that will be considered, please email Anna Brachey, Climate Solutions Fellow with the Office of Sustainability Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.