February 9, 2007

S.A. Passes KyotoNow! Resolution on Energy

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The Student Assembly unanimously passed a resolution for clean energy use at Cornell at its meeting yesterday in Willard Straight Hall. Students members of the climate action group KyotoNow! proposed the resolution.

The resolution, the Referendum for Green Energy Purchases at Cornell, will be included on the Student Assembly’s Spring 2007 election ballot. The ballot will contain a question concerning whether the Student Activity Fee should include an additional $5/semester renewable energy fee.

Matt Perkins ’08, former president of KyotoNow!, noticed a shift in the attitudes of S.A. members concerning global warming.

“There’s a stark difference: last year we brought a similar resolution forth and students were very skeptical. Today, they reached a unanimous decision,” he said.

As students have been paying more each year in activities fees, KyotoNow! has faith that they will be willing provide additional funds to support its cause. At Harvard, for example, a similar referendum led to an 80 percent student approval rate. The S.A. is willing to pass this fee with students’ support.

If Cornell students agree to pay the small fee, the money raised will enable Cornell to switch 10 percent of its energy use from “dirty” to “clean,” making it renewable and less detrimental to the environment.

This action is only one of many steps that KyotoNow! and students throughout Cornell are taking to combat the problem of global warming. This afternoon, the members of KyotoNow! are meeting with President Skorton to discuss their plan to encourage Cornell to commit to carbon neutrality.