Georgia Tech proclaims itself to be a “leading research institution committed to improving the human condition.” However, it is falling short of this reputation with respect to the environment. Our university needs to join the hundreds of other colleges and universities from around the United States that have publicly committed to continue to uphold the Paris Climate Accords.
Protecting the environment is synonymous with protecting public health. The goal of the Paris Climate Accords is to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions lead to the formation of smog, particulate matter, and other forms of pollution that cause respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular issues, and can be carcinogenic. Mayors of several Georgia cities (Atlanta, Augusta), Georgia colleges (Spelman, Agnes Scott, Oglethorpe), and ACC universities (Miami, Syracuse, Wake Forest), have already recognized the importance of reducing emissions and committed to the Paris Climate Accords.
Georgia Tech must join this movement to live up to its reputation as a leader among universities. Joining the Paris Climate Accords would mean that Georgia Tech will do its part in reducing emissions on campus and protecting the environment.
Since this university is home to brilliant innovators, I have no doubt that we would be able to reach the emission goals setin the Accords, and serve as a model for other colleges and universities around the world.
In order to uphold Tech’s promise to improve the human condition, the university must declare their support for the Paris Climate Accords and act on that promise. With the upcoming Living Building scheduled to break ground this year, Georgia Tech has shown initiative in promoting sustainability, but they must do more to protect the environment.