Today global leaders assemble in Le Bourget near Paris hoping to achieve “a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C”.
At the 21st meeting of the ‘Conference of the Parties’ to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), Canada will be represented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several premiers, including Rachel Notley of Alberta who just announced a game-changing climate change strategy for that province.
Acts of leadership such as those of Premier Notley are now required by all institutions in Canada. As Dr David Wheeler, President and Vice-Chancellor of Cape Breton University says, “It now behoves all Canadian provinces, businesses and social institutions to also raise their game as part of a new narrative for the country. That includes Cape Breton University.”
In this context Cape Breton University believes it may be on the cusp of achieving a North American first – and possibly a global first – as a university that will soon completely offset all of its direct CO2 emissions.
In January, CBU will complete construction and commissioning of a three turbine 5.4 MW windfarm across from the campus that will generate an estimated 16,200 MWh of electricity annually, equivalent to a saving of 15,000 tonnes equivalent of CO2. Total emissions from all energy sources consumed on the campus are estimated to be just 8,000 tonnes equivalent of CO2.
Nearly 800 tonnes equivalent of CO2 have also been saved through energy efficiency measures on the campus since 2013.
“Cape Breton University has made significant strides in reducing its carbon footprint, and we applaud CBU’s commitment to – and this investment in – sustainability,” said Energy Minister Michel Samson.