Students Urge A Timelier Deadline For Net-Zero Emissions At WMU

Nov 20, 2020

Cars parked at WMU in the fall of 2018
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The year 2065 is a little late for Western Michigan University to reach carbon neutrality. That’s the message from leaders of Western’s student government, who say they would like to see the school move its target for net-zero emissions forward about 25 years.

Taylor West is the president of the Western Student Association. She said she was hopeful the school would agree, at least informally, to a new deadline before the end of the school year. West said it would likely be up to the next student administration to continue the push.

“We know that change can’t come with the snap of a finger, so we have to be strategic in the sense of, ‘how can we keep this conversation going without it dying out?’” she said.

Chelsea Spaman is the Western Student Association’s Vice President for Sustainability. She said the students in the WSA want to see action on climate change.

“It’s one of those issues that translates across the board and that we can all somewhat agree on,” she said.

“Most climate scientists have agreed that we have roughly 10 years to make extreme systemic change to how we impact the Earth and our lifestyle choices, to prevent catastrophic damage in the future due to climate change,” she added.

Last year the university said it was studying whether to set a more ambitious deadline for net-zero emissions.