February 13, 2007 Minutes

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
4:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Leung Gallery

Members: President Simmons, Provost Kertzer, Brenda Allen, Katherine Bergeron, Russell Carey, Beppie Huidekoper, Nancy Armstrong, Christopher Bull, John Cassese, David Cutts, Penelope Dennehy, Stephen Foley, Joachim Krueger, David Sheinberg, John Gillis, Robert Klaber, Emma Tai, Joseph Bush, John Cumbers, Christina Purpura, David Margolius, Carin Algava, Nancy Fjeldheim, Geoffrey Greene, Kathleen Rossi, Sarah Sharpe, Kisa Takesue, and Guy Sanchez were in attendance. Barrett Hazeltine, Elmo Terry-Morgan, Lauren Kolodny, Mark Ramadan, Neel Shah, David Bloom, Sarah O’Dowd, and Emma Simmons were unable to attend.

The minutes of the November 14, 2006 meeting were approved.

President Simmons welcomed and introduced the new Committee members: Carin Algava, Nancy Armstrong, Joseph Bush, John Cumbers, Nancy Fjeldheim, Christina Purpura, Kathleen Rossi, and Sarah Sharpe.

Beppie Huidekoper, Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration, introduced Chris Powell, Energy Manager and chair of the Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee (EEAC). Mr. Powell described Brown’s total greenhouse gas footprint and how energy is being consumed and the kinds being consumed. Brown’s total greenhouse gas footprint is 82,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCDE), with 46,000 MTCDE emitted from on-site burning of fossil fuels and 36,000 MTCDE from the use of electricity. He reviewed initiatives that are currently underway to reduce emissions: heating ventilating and air conditioning improvements, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) capital projects, and lighting upgrades.
Mr. Powell presented the process by which Brown is developing a plan for managing its energy and environmental impact. The Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee (EEAC) which is comprised of students, faculty and staff is charged with reviewing and recommending strategies to reduce energy costs and Brown’s greenhouse gas footprint. The EEAC is expected to submit its recommendations to the administration in April 2007. At the end of the presentation there was discussion among and questions from members of the audience and the Council.

Zindzi McCormick ’09, Jonathan Magaziner ’07, and Aden Van Noppen ’09, all members of the emPOWER Campaign, gave a presentation titled “Climate Neutrality Now”. Ms. McCormick presented emPOWER’s  position that Brown should adopt immediate climate neutrality - net-zero global warming emissions by investing in "carbon offsets" - projects that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere in an equal amount as produced. Then Brown should begin an aggressive plan to reduce its actual carbon emissions. Mr. Magaziner gave an overview of carbon offsets – what they are, what they cost, and the role they can play in a comprehensive climate neutrality strategy for the campus. He concluded by saying that emPOWER does not want any money to be diverted from the EEAC to fund its proposed actions. Ms. Van Noppen outlined climate neutrality initiatives in the country and the positive response emPOWER has received on climate neutrality from students. At the end of the presentation there was discussion among and questions from members of the audience and the Council.

The Council voted unanimously in favor of a motion recommending that the University develop a statement with regard to climate neutrality and submit a plan as soon as possible and no later than the next budget year. Members of the Council suggested that when developing the plan that there include a comparison of the benefit from purchasing carbon off-sets vs. the direct application of funds for community-based initiatives. It was also suggested that the cost of carbon-offsets be compared to the cost of reducing Brown’s own greenhouse gas footprint.

Due to time constraints, the update on the University Response to Slavery and Justice Committee report and the opportunity for members of the Brown Community to address the Council were deferred.

The next meeting of the Brown University Community Council will be held on Tuesday, March 13, 2007 from 
4:00 – 5:30 pm in Leung Gallery, Faunce House.

Respectfully submitted,

Catherine Pincince

Secretary of the Brown University Community Council