The University Assembly voted 7-1-1 to table a resolution requesting additional information from the University about the costs of carbon neutrality Tuesday.
Prof. Ellis Loew, physiology, emphasized the importance of carbon neutrality and its potential impact on the entire planet.
“Anything you can do to minimize energy usage will have a financial impact — which will be positive — and a positive impact on our environment by reducing our carbon footprint,” Loew said.
Loew acknowledged the financial burden carbon neutrality places on the University, but argued that the value of carbon neutrality was greater.
“There is going to be cost to everything,” he said. “The question is — what’s the eventual payoff? How do you balance the investment right now, which might take you into the red, when in the long term you’re going to save money?”
Loew emphasized his hope that the Cornell community will support the U.A.’s carbon neutrality decision.
“Many people on campus feel that Cornell should make a stand on recognizing the importance of global warming and the importance of carbon neutrality,” he said.
The assembly also discussed how to approach an upcoming conversation with the Board of Trustees and how to broaden the assembly’s interactions with the trustees.
“I feel, as a faculty member and citizen, that carbon neutrality and sustainability are things that should be targeted and important,” Loew said. “It’s important enough to have some sort of idea what candidates for our next Cornell presidential feel about the entire topic of global warming.”
After carbon neutrality discussions, the U.A. unanimously passed a resolution recognizing President Elizabeth Garrett and her contributions to Cornell during her tenure. The assembly had tabled the resolution at its previous meeting because not enough members were present for a vote.
“The vote about Garrett was simply a resolution recognizing the contributions she has made and our sincere condolences to her family and the Cornell community,” Loew said.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the University Assembly passed a resolution requesting additional information from the University about the costs of carbon neutrality. In fact, the assembly tabled the resolution. Additionally, a previous of this story incorrectly stated that the assembly discussed forming a trustee board to choose a president who will focus on carbon neutrality. In fact, the assembly discussed an upcoming conversation with the Board of Trustees and how to broaden the assembly’s interactions with the trustees.