The newly created Michigan Climate Action Council will assist the state in identifying the best opportunities to mitigate and adapt to climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. These measures — such as improving energy efficiency, conserving natural resources and developing alternative and renewable energy sources — will reduce costs and foster economic growth and job creation in Michigan. The council’s tasks include producing an inventory and forecast of greenhouse gas emissions in Michigan and their sources from 1990 to 2020. The council will then consider climate change reduction and adaptation measures in sectors such as energy supply, energy efficiency and conservation, industrial processes, transportation, waste management, and agriculture and forestry. Ultimately, the council will compile a comprehensive climate action plan for the state with specific recommendations for government, business and residents on how they can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Michigan by the end of 2008.
“I’m honored the Gov. Granholm has asked me to participate in the Climate Action Council’s important work, alongside other West Michigan leaders like Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and developer Guy Bazzani. I consider my selection to be an acknowledgment of Grand Valley’s commitment to sustainability and to our contributions in the community. I hope to be of help to the state as we try to move from awareness raising to action,” Christopher said.
Christopher’s selection is another affirmation of Grand Valley State University’s commitment to sustainability. Grand Valley was recently recognized as an innovator by the Sustainable Endowments Institute in its 2008 Campus Sustainability Report. Grand Valley was recognized along with three other colleges and universities.
President Thomas J. Haas has signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, pledging to make Grand Valley carbon neutral at the earliest possible date. That agreement also requires GVSU to complete a campus carbon inventory within one year, and within the second year of signing develop an institutional action plan that sets interim targets that will lead to climate neutrality. Haas has also signed the Talloires Declaration, which spells out key actions universities must take to increase awareness of environmentally sustainable development, create an institutional culture of sustainability, and foster environmental literacy.