Already, actions to help mitigate climate change and carbon emissions throughout campus in the form of Academics, Outreach, Research, and Student Programs.
Significant UGA research contributions are made in the fields of climate change, bioenergy, and biofuels. Over the last three years, upgrades in 51% of existing campus buildings have resulted in a 5% reduction in energy used on campus. At the UGA steam plant, 99% of particulates and 90% of hazardous air pollutant emissions are captured before release into the atmosphere, and bioenergy fuel source alternatives are being tested. While alternatives such as biomass are being investigated, coal is still used on campus in one of the four steam plant boilers for up to five months out of the year. Campus vehicles are fueled by various experimental sources and the Campus Transit bus fleet runs on 20% biodiesel when available and financially feasible. In an effort to further reduce reliance on gasoline and resultant greenhouse gas emissions on campus and beyond, University researchers are working under a federal grant to create cost-competitive biofuels by 2012. To minimize vehicle use on campus, an alternative transporation program provides incentives to members of the University community who choose to walk, bike, bus or carpool to campus instead of driving.
Through effective operations and behavior choices, energy conservation on campus results in reduced consumption of purchased electricity that is primarily generated from coal. New campus buildings target a 20% reduction in energy use over standard code compliance.