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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

SDSU: Campus-Level Climate Action Planning Toolkit

As part of the Sage Project, directed by Dr. Jessica Barlow, Environmental Health Professor Zohir Chowdhury and two SDSU Public Health Undergraduate students, Victoria Lawless and Christiana Yip, drafted a campus-level climate action planning toolkit adapted from the United Nations’ city-level toolkit. This campus-level toolkit was presented during the 2018 Student Research Symposium and received the Campus Sustainability award. It was later presented to both the California State University Board of Trustees and to the United Nations Habitat (UN-Habitat) and received wide-spread interest. This toolkit was updated using multi-stakeholder peer reviews by experts and representatives from academic research institutions, non-governmental agencies, and the UN-Habitat. In March 2019, the UN-Habitat released this toolkit on its website as “Version 1.0” for worldwide applications and reviews.

Higher education institutions across the world recognize the imperative of addressing climate change. In the U.S., 550+ higher education institutions have made commitments to carbon neutrality. These institutions are collectively known as the Climate Leadership Network, and account for nearly 29 million metric tons of CO2e greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Through campus-level climate action planning, the network has reduced GHG emissions by 10% since 2010 despite a 31% increase in building square footage and a 26% increase in student enrollment. This new toolkit developed at SDSU can be used by institutions of higher education to develop and evaluate their climate action plans with the objective of reducing their institutional carbon footprint and assist in meeting global GHG targets as outlined under the Paris Climate Agreement.

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