In the past fiscal year, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UM) made progress toward its 2050 carbon neutrality goal.
Carbon neutrality is an effort to decrease greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are the result of human activities such as deforestation, land use change, and fossil fuel burning. The consequences of changing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere include warmer temperatures, new climate patterns, and increased sea levels. For 650,000 years, atmospheric CO2levels have never been above 300 parts per million. Until now.
To combat climate change, UM is reducing its use of electricity, fuel, and steam, and investing in renewable sources of energy.
Highlights from 2012 include:
- 4.7 percent decrease in total CO2 emissions
- 6.4 percent decrease in steam emissions, which make up 13 percent of total emissions
- 5.6 percent decrease in total CO2 emissions per gross square foot
- 7.2 percent increase in renewable energy certificates (RECs) purchased as a result of UM’s wind farm projects and the federal renewables portfolio standard requirement