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February 21, 2011

Clemson to Go Off Coal, Eliminate Carbon Emissions by 2030


When Clemson University announced on February 18 that it would be replacing the school's outdated utility system and eliminating the use of coal, it became the 12th campus to make such an announcement since the Sierra Student Coalition launched its Campusus Beyond Coal campaign.


The following was originally posted on the SSC blog by Campusus Beyond Coal representative Kim Teplitzky (above):

After a year-long effort by students, Clemson President Jim Barker announced the university will be investing in several university upgrades including ending the use of coal on campus! The campaign, spearheaded by Students for Environmental Action at Clemson, has been working with the administration to stop burning dangerous coal in the campus steam plant situated near the aptly named “Death Valley” — the university’s football field.

Ending their use of coal is just phase I of several planned utility upgrades over the next five years and a significant step towards meeting the university’s commitment to reduce their overall carbon emissions to zero by 2030.


Students are excited and looking forward to another address by the President planned for next week at their "Solutions for the Next Decade" teach-in where they hope to hear more details for the transition.

"Clemson is making strides in becoming more aware of sustainability and taking concrete steps to reduce its carbon emissions," says graduate student and SEA leader Holly Garrett. "Nowhere is this more evident than in President Barker's announcement to begin Phase 1 of taking the campus coal plant offline. This will catapult Clemson toward our goal of becoming a carbon neutral campus by the year 2030 and we are very excited to hear yesterday’s announcement."


"This decision to move our university beyond coal shows that the university is really listening to the concerns of students and faculty who want a cleaner, healthier campus, and demonstrates our dedication to environmental, economic, and social leadership," says CU Beyond Coal leader Rose Kinane. "I’m very proud to go a university that is committing to building a clean energy future. Now we hope to see the university continue to invest in solutions like efficiency for our buildings and renewable energy projects that will make our school a 100% clean energy institution."


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