As climate change is accelerating and the consequences of our actions are becoming clear, some organizations are taking a stand by passing renewable energy legislation to meet international goals for emission reductions. Unfortunately, many others are ignoring the problem entirely with the United States pulling out from the Paris Climate Accords and almost no nations actually meeting their emission reduction goals. To address these shortcomings, the state of California, the UC system, and now most recently the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) are pledging to reach 100% renewable energy and net-zero emissions by 2050. To accomplish their new goals the LACCD has pledged $75 million over the next 10 years towards energy efficiency and sustainability.
The International Panel on Climate Change has stated that unprecedented international changes are required to keep the global temperature rise beneath 2 degrees C, which makes the money pledged by LACCD seem rather limited by comparison. As institutions pledge to reach net-zero emissions, we the people need to hold these organizations to their words and ask that they continually up the bar and make drastic changes to meet these climate goals. New renewable energy facilities need to be heavily invested in as soon as possible and emissions need to fall. If these changes do not occur, we need to contact elected officials at the state legislature, the UC Board of Chancellors, the community college chancellors, and anyone else responsible to let them know they need to keep their promises. If they don’t, we can always elect someone else who will.