Monday, May 4, 2009

How to get to Kyoto?

The Kyoto Protocol calls for a reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions to 7% less than1990 levels, whereas in 2007 Duke emitted 84% more GHGs than in 1990. These figures also do not include student transportation contributions, which undoubtedly have shown similar gains within this period. Meanwhile, GHG emissions per square foot of building space have remained pretty constant over the same period (see 2008 GHG inventory update presentation at bottom of Duke's Climate Action Plan webpage). Given that a 2005 Feasibility Study Committee found that Duke could reduce its carbon emissions from current levels by ~10% cost competitively, that leaves a whopping ~70% more to go.

Heres the BCEW simple path forward for Duke to reach the Kyoto goals.

1. Stop expanding until you figure out how to do it sustainably, and spend the capital for the new gas turbine on something more productive, like the following.
2. Phase in buying electricity via NC Green Power. Start with 20% of purchased electricity in 2009, working way toward 100% of purchased electricity in 2020. The cost of this electricity will motivate a redoubling of effort towards energy efficiency I bet.
3. Get involved in boostering Durham area public transportation projects, including light rail. Promote public transportation to students by giving students incentives for using public transport to get to/from campus. Give parents feebates if they send their kids to campus without cars.
4. Implement a Parisian style bike program, where bikes are free to students/employees and picked up/dropped off at many locations around campus.
5. Start digging geothermal wells for all that heating and cooling.
6. Build some concentrating solar hot water heaters.
7. Reduce consumption with continuous energy efficiency upgrades and campus conservation initiatives.

When you're done all of the above you should be carbon neutral. Its really not so hard.

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