Renewable Energy at University of Wollongong.
OUR PLANET BEFORE YOUR CREDENTIALS! In 2007/2008 annual period, the University of Wollongong emitted the equivalent of 29 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide. From 1st November 2008 UOW increased its commitment to renewable energy by purchasing 15% of its energy source from renewable wind power, an initiative led by the Environment and Sustainabilty Initiatives Unit. According to Chris Grange, Vice Principal (Administration) in the media release about this initiative, this “latest decision was part of an overall strategic move on behalf of the university to lift its environment credentials”. Surprisingly enough however, environmental credentials are not what will reduce UOW’s carbon footprint! What will ensure that this campus is a leader in the environmental field is a further commitment to renewable energy, not only from external renewable energy sources, but from direct renewable sources on this campus. This is why the Environment Collective has initiated the petition to demand renewable energy on our campus! The demands of the petition include an increase of our university’s renewable energy sources to 50% by the end 2010 and 100% by the end of 2015, as well as a commitment by the university for more investment in research and development of direct renewable energy sources on campus, in order to reduce our carbon footprint and create a sustainable campus for future students and staff! This venture is not impossible! Taking into account the examples set by other universities around the world, this is a realistic demand that every student should be making of this institution! The university is a profit making establishment and more of these profits should be directed to ensuring a sustainable campus! The University of California in Berkeley has committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to below 1990 levels by 2014, as well as achieving carbon neutrality as soon as possible. Whilst the university campaign to reduce overall emissions through individual actions such as turning off your computer and switching off lights is important, the overall energy consumption of students needs to be supplied through renewable energy to combat climate change and our enormous emission problem! So far, 1000 signatures have been collected in the campaign! We have delivered the petition to the Vice-Chancellor and the University Council, but are yet to get a response, alomst one month on. The uni is clearly NOT listening to the wishes of the students, despite its rhetoric of 'student representation' in decision-making processes. But we need YOUR help to continue the momentum of this campaign. We aim to collect another 1000 signatures and present the uni with our demands yet again. We will not stop until the uni listens to the wishes of its students and takes real action on climate change.