Town, gown work to slow carbon dioxide emissions
UNC and Chapel Hill have jointly committed to a 60 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Douglas Crawford-Brown, director of the Carolina Environmental Program, entered the town-gown pledge to the Carbon Connections project at the University of East Anglia, where he served as the U.S. representative.
The Chapel Hill Town Council approved the town’s pledge at its June 26 meeting.
UNC produces between 335,000 and 345,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, with the per capita emissions rate about nine metric tons per person per year. About half of those come from electricity and steam generated at the campus cogeneration facility, one of the nation’s cleanest coal-burning energy plants.
The University plans to work with CEP to monitor progress and explore options for saving energy.
Let me just pose this question. If “about half” of UNC’s carbon dioxide production comes from “electricity and steam generated at the campus cogeneration facility,” which is “one of the nation’s cleanest coal-burning energy plants,” then how are they going to reduce emissions by 60 percent?
It seems that UNC would have to 1)shut down the cogeneration facility completely and curb other energy use, such as campus vehicles, 2) stop all energy use outside of the cogeneration plant and reduce the output of the cogeneration plant significantly, or 3)reduce both cogeneration plant use and non-power plant use by more than 50 percent each. None of these things is going to happen. So pat yourself on the back UNC for setting arbitrary goals that you won’t meet.