We Need You to Help Create Our Climate Action Plan

January 24, 2020

Members of the Rutgers Community,

You have an opportunity this semester to fundamentally change our future by addressing a key risk for the 21st century.  I am committed to making Rutgers a national leader in addressing climate change as an institution, and I need your help.

In December, the President’s Task Force on Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience gave me a 43-page pre-planning report that provides the framework for the task ahead.  This document lays out the challenge for Rutgers, examines what other leading universities have been doing, and offers a preliminary analysis of our current emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases.  I strongly endorse the pre-planning report and its recommendations for how we will develop a Climate Action Plan—including expansion of the task force to include student and staff representatives.  Read it here.

Over the next few months, a task force of Rutgers faculty, students, and staff will begin the difficult but essential task of formulating a formal Climate Action Plan for the University.  The goal of this plan will be to achieve carbon neutrality universitywide and enable Rutgers and the broader community to anticipate and deal effectively with the effects of climate change.  I expect an interim report by May, with a final plan delivered to my successor, Dr. Jonathan Holloway, in 2021.

Active participation across Rutgers is critical to the process of creating our Climate Action Plan.  We need to hear from our students, our faculty, and our staff, as well as alumni and members of our governing boards, about the most important steps we can take to achieve our goals.  To that end, the task force will hold town hall meetings in Camden, Newark, New Brunswick, and Piscataway in February to receive your input.  (See below for times and locations.) You can also contact the task force through its website to share your priorities and your ideas.

The timeline for creating a Climate Action Plan is short because time is not on our side.  As I said in announcing the task force, human-caused climate change is already harming lives and livelihoods.  We must act quickly to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint in ways that are environmentally sustainable, fiscally responsible, and scalable—and that engage the broader community.  Please participate in developing a Rutgers solution that can be a model for institutions and communities around the world.


Robert Barchi

President’s Task Force on Carbon Neutrality and Carbon Resilience
Town Hall Meetings

Wednesday, February 12New Brunswick
Cook Student Center Multipurpose Room ABC         4:00pm – 6:00pm

Monday, February 17 – Piscataway
Busch Student Center Multipurpose Room                4:00pm – 6:00pm

Tuesday, February 18 – Camden
Camden Campus Center MPR                                    4:00pm – 6:00pm

Tuesday, February 25 – Newark
Paul Robeson Campus Center Essex Room                4:00pm – 6:00pm