Lexington Herald-Leader Reports on Student Campaign Victory at University of Kentucky - Republished Across Country
The Lexington Herald-Leader covered the victory of UK Greenthumb in their campaign to get the University of Kentucky to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The story has been picked up by the Associated Press and republished by news outlets across the country. Read an excerpt from the Herald-Leader article below.
Greenthumb began campaigning for university administration to address UK’s contribution to climate change back in 2012. As one of the Commonwealth’s larger greenhouse gas-emitting institutions, the flagship university’s commitment to reduce emissions is a major victory for Greenthumb and the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition, a network of student environmental groups at 22 campuses across the state. To reach this campaign victory, Greenthumb members collected hundreds of signatures, garnered the backing of student government, and rallied with over one-hundred students to pressure administrators into developing a climate action plan.
UK is the latest in a series of Kentucky universities to commit to greenhouse gas reductions. Students conducted a successful climate action campaign at Eastern Kentucky University in 2015. Both Northern Kentucky University and Centre College signed on to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment in 2007 and the University of Louisville signed on in 2008.
In its commitment, UK states that carbon-neutrality is a long-term objective for the institution. Representatives of UK Greenthumb say they will continue pushing for increased reduction commitments in order to reach this goal.
Excerpt from "University of Kentucky pledges to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent" -
University of Kentucky officials have pledged to reduce carbon emissions on campus by 25 percent by 2025.
Members of the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition's Political Working Group met with some of the state’s legislators on Friday afternoon to discuss the Energy Opportunity Act. KSEC secured the bill's first senate sponsor, Sen. Reggie Thomas, in 2015. The bill has not made it to a vote in either the House or Senate committees in which it has been placed. The KSEC youth talked with legislators about how to get the bill sent to committees where it could receive a vote and discussed other avenues of promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency through the Kentucky Legislature.
In passing the Energy Opportunity Act, Kentucky would adopt a renewable and energy efficiency portfolio standard that would increase utility companies’ renewable energy production by 12.5 percent and increase energy efficiency by 10.25 percent over the next 10 years. The legislation also introduces feed-in tariffs to Kentucky utilities, which would give Kentuckians the opportunity to become energy entrepreneurs.
Excerpt from "Kentucky Environmental Students Push Renewable Bill in 2017 Session" -
Fifteen-year-old KSEC Political Working Group Media chair Grace Engelman says bipartisan support is critical for job opportunities for young Kentuckians as “climate change issues” will affect them most.