U-M Sustainability Initiatives

1. Climate Inaction at U-M

2. Central Student Government Resolution (with Rackham Student Government Co-Sponsoring)

3. College of LS&A Student Government Resolution (link coming soon!)

4. Engineering Student Government Resolution (link coming soon!)

5. UM Flint Student Government Resolution

The University of Michigan's Planet Blue Sustainability Initiative under former UM President Mary Sue Coleman established five 2025 Campus Sustainability Goals in September 2011 in the areas of: Climate Action, Waste Prevention, Healthy Environments and Community Engagement. 


U-M's Climate Action goal: 

1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 2006 levels: 7% achieved by FY 2018

2.  Decrease the carbon intensity of passenger trips on U-M transportation options by 30% below 2006 levels: 14% achieved by FY 2018

On October 4, 2018, President Schlissel's announced that:

1. The university is expecting to reach the 25% reduction goal with an expansion of the natural gas central power plant and a renewable energy purchase agreement.​

2.  He is committed to "putting U-M on a trajectory toward carbon neutrality, and levels of greenhouse gas release that are environmentally sustainable."

On February 4, 2019, President Schlissel's announced that:

1. The formation of the Presidents Commission on Carbon Neutrality (PCCN). Read more about the specifics of the PCCN here.

2.  The current U-M Administration failed to take into account the recommendations put forth by the Climate Action Movement. Read our open letter to President Schlissel here.

1. Planet Blue Website

2. 2015 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Committee Report

3. 2015 Landfill Waste Reduction Committee Report

The University of Michigan is near the bottom of the pack when it comes to climate action.

Many peer institutions made public commitments to carbon neutrality over a decade ago. While late to the game, we still have the opportunity to be the Leaders and Best by committing to a robust and science-based plan to achieve carbon neutrality in an equitable manner. To do so requires bold leadership, and we call on the Regents and President of U-M to help us live up to our motto.

The Ohio State University 

100% by 2050

Michigan State University

100% by 2050

Iowa State University

100% by 2050

University of Maryland

100% by 2050

Northwestern University

100% by 2050

University of Minnesota

100% by 2025

Harvard University

100% by 2050

University of California System

100% by 2050

The University of Michigan

25% by 2025

CAM's recommendations come from the 2018 IPCC Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Celsius. This report spells out the likely effects of 1.5 degree celsius and 2.0 degree celsius warming, stressing the need to limit warming to 1.5 degrees celsius to avoid the worst effects of climate change. In order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees celsius, the report spells out the following emission reductions timeframes:

  • 45% reduction by 2030

  • 100% reduction by 2050

The scientific consensus on climate change can be boiled down to two facts: we are causing it by emitting massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, and we need to bring the net levels emissions across the globe to zero before 2050 to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. The largest uncertainty in our future lies not with the physical climate models, but in the decisions that we as humans will choose to make.

U-M Sustainability Resources:

Peer Institutions

Climate Science

CAM Resources:

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