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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU commits to 'climate neutral' campus

New Mexico State University President Michael V. Martin has committed to neutralizing all of the university's global warming emissions and accelerating research and educational efforts that will help stabilize the earth's climate.

"Climate change is a critical issue that must be addressed, and New Mexico State University, with its research and outreach missions, can and should be among those taking the lead in showing the country how to avert the disastrous impacts of global warming," Martin said.

NMSU's commitment came with the signing of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, joining the leaders of more than 200 other institutions across the country in the effort.

In accordance with that pledge, over the next two years the university will create a comprehensive institutional action plan to move toward climate neutrality. Over the next 12 months the university will accomplish a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, in the short term, the university has already taken some concrete actions. It has:

? Re-established the Energy Task Force as the Sustainability and Climate Change Task Force and charged the committee with the task of leading the effort to create the comprehensive plan.

? Committed that all new construction and major remodeling projects shall meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver standard or equivalent.

? Committed to encourage use of public transportation on campus for faculty, staff and students through the Aggie Shuttle Service

? Committed to seek ways to provide energy through renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal resources.

These efforts build on NMSU's ongoing commitment to sustainability, including establishing a pilot project to place solar panels atop a parking structure to provide shade as well as energy to operate the Student Health Center. The university also is purchasing both renewable fuel and hybrid vehicles for university use and is exploring the use of bio diesel and ethanol blends for other university vehicles. These are in addition to the research ongoing at NMSU on renewable and alternative energy.

The Presidents Climate Commitment is the first such effort by any major sector of society to set climate neutrality as its target. This undertaking by America's colleges and universities is inspired by efforts such as the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and other collective efforts by states and businesses.

The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort to address global warming. It is being supported and implemented by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second Nature, and ecoAmerica.

Learn more at: www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.