UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp appoints campus Energy Task Force
Thursday, January 28, 2010
A new Energy Task Force will study the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s carbon reduction plans and review what other universities are doing, UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp said today at a meeting of the UNC Board of Trustees.
The group – whose members include faculty, staff and students, a UNC trustee and environmental activists – will be led by Tim Toben, chair of the N.C. Energy Policy Council. Toben is also chair of the Board of Visitors for the UNC Institute for the Environment.
The group will work over the next six to 12 months to learn about the University’s efforts and to evaluate the approaches being used on other campuses to encourage sustainability. The purpose of the task force is to develop the most practicable plan possible for reducing Carolina’s carbon footprint.
“In general, I think Carolina and many other universities in the country are doing a good job of addressing energy issues,” Thorp said. “But we can always learn more, do more and improve. That’s what this is about.”
Toben said he expects the task force to evaluate the University’s plans and trajectory for becoming carbon-free by 2050, to recommend practical and cost-effective improvements in the carbon reduction plan, and to examine the campus’ cogeneration plant in the context of state energy policy to ascertain whether the current and forecast fuel mix is optimum.
The members of the Energy Task Force are UNC Trustee Alston Gardner; Royce Murray, Kenan Professor of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences; David McNelis, director of the Center for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economic Development at the UNC Institute for the Environment; Jonathan Howes, former special assistant to the chancellor for local relations and former secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources; Molly Diggins, state director of the N.C. chapter of the Sierra Club; Elinor Benami, a senior and senior adviser to the executive branch of student government; and Mary Cooper, a sophomore environmental science major and co-chair of student government’s Environmental Affairs Committee.
News Services contact: Mike McFarland, (919) 962-8593,
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