For the planet to completely clean the environment, all the sectors must cooperate to achieve the net-zero target. Recently, the University education levels have joined the battle for a cleaner planet safe for all to live. This move represents another step forward closer to a carbon-free world. The SG (Student Government) senate passed a resolution on March 23, 2021, calling on Steven Currall, the USF president, to commit the universities to commit to complete renewable energy by 2030.
The University Senate is committing to installing all-electric power renewable assets to clean electricity by 2030 and fully decarbonize the universities by 2030. This resolution was written by the USF’s Florida Public Interest Research Group’s members, including Daisy Perez, the 100% renewable power campaign coordinator. Other members include USF’s Florida vice president Jona Skendaj and USF Florida president Alyssa Guarimo.
The resolution was sponsored by several SENs, including Jillian Wilson, Mayden Humphries, Eran Fruehauf, Gary Lopez working as a chair committee member in the Relations, Marketing chair Veronica Jimenez and Julia Cunningham. There was a 10-minute presentation in the senate where Perez talked about the role of USF in energy consumption. It is a public institution and has the chance to explore the renewable energy sources’ capabilities, including the wind and solar energy sources, to deliver adequate energy in USF and nationwide.
Perez stated that there is underuse of natural resources since, with the current wind resources, the country can get power ten times more than necessary. Simultaneously, the existing solar farms can supply 100 times the currently available energy needs. Besides, there was an emphasis on the university’s commitment to achieving a sustainable institution regarding the energy use sector. Perez cited the 2010 Climate Action Plan and its development, which targets 20% carbon emission reduction by 2025, but the university commits to this target by 2019.
Several senators asked about this resolution, questioning if it is a joint venture for the three campuses, sources of the reference statics, the implementation plan of these ideals to achieve 100% clean energy, and its cost. Perez explained that the resolution targets gaining mass support and public commitment from the school’s administration to develop a sustainable institution.
However, Perez stated that the team has several ideas, including changing light bulbs to those with 100% renewable energy, and they are primarily working on gaining the support they need. While the 100% renewable energy resolution approval doesn’t involve taking an action plan forward, it details the senate’s stand on the issue. It highlights the basis for possible action later. The resolution will move to Currall and other boards to review it.