Editorial: UConn must uphold environmental goals in response to UN report

UConn officials stated we will continue to uphold the Paris Agreement as we have been, and we will keep working as a university to lower our carbon footprint. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut has shown support for the environment and commitment to being a green campus for quite some time. The university’s desire to stand as a united front in the fight against climate change continued even when our government failed to do the same.

This year, we joined the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) which aims to combat climate change. Luckily, this united front is not going anywhere.

Earlier this month, the United Nations released a report depicting the future of our planet as bleak and in need of desperate help. According to this report, we are facing drastic, disastrous changes to our planet as early as 2040 due to the effect climate change has already had on our planet.

These changes could vary greatly in their impact on the UConn community, but will most likely include a large food shortage, greater incidences of wildfires, dying coral reefs and an increase in severity and frequency of major weather events. We have already noticed a change in the weather, with more frequent hurricanes being reported each year, but this is only just the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg.

With our environment deteriorating and our politicians doing little to stop it, it is important for our local leaders to try to curb the effects of climate change. Thankfully, UConn is continuing to do just that. Following the release of this report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UConn officials stated we will continue to uphold the Paris Agreement as we have been, and we will keep working as a university to lower our carbon footprint.

As a leading research university in this nation, it is important the university continues to work towards this goal. UConn has a large scientific influence on our state and country, and it is important that we use this influence to benefit our future.

By maintaining current programs in place to help our campus be as environmentally friendly as possible, we are not only helping the UConn community, but we are helping the global environment. These initiatives help us set an example for the rest of the world to follow.

Our planet and our future are in trouble. Without proper intervention, we will begin to see huge changes in our daily lives due to the damage of climate change. Just because the government doesn’t see this potential threat as something humans can fix doesn’t mean our university has to view it that way as well. UConn is not just doing something good by continuing to work toward a greener future, but fulfilling an obligation. Instead of just applauding ourselves for helping where it is needed, we should be asking others to do the same.