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.
I am tired of people stereotyping millennials as lazy, ignorant and apathetic. My generation is full of knowledge, skills, compassion and creativity and we are underappreciated. Our leaders and legislators should stop dismissing our concerns and actually listen to our ideas to solve today’s problems.
We know that renewable energy is the future for our economy. The transition is already happening, and many states are adopting policies to embrace the opportunities that come with it, like new jobs, less pollution, healthier communities and reduced carbon emissions. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency shows Texas as third in the nation with 125 policies and incentives supporting renewables and efficiency. Texas! A Southern, conservative, fossil-fuel powerhouse is the nation’s third leading state when it comes to new energy policies.
Kentucky has a lot to gain from embracing the new energy economy sooner rather than later. The coal industry is declining, and we need to advance new energy technology to replace that loss. The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition calls on our elected officials to listen to young voices and create policies that encourage renewable energy before we are left even further behind in the inevitable transition to renewable energy.
Lexington, Ky. 40508