In 2005, Yale became one of the world’s first universities to commit to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, pledging that by 2020 it would reduce its carbon output 43% compared with that year’s emissions. Last year Yale reached this goal despite significant growth in campus population and square footage in the intervening time.
Now university leaders are targeting an even faster pace of change. On Thursday, Yale pledged to achieve zero actual carbon emissions — that is, driving carbon emissions to zero without having to purchase carbon offsets — by 2050, President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel announced in a message to the Yale community.
Along the way, they said, the university expects the campus to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035, or “zero” emissions after offsets and other campus reductions in emissions are factored in.
Salovey and Strobel also shared an initial list of fossil fuel companies now ineligible for investment by the Yale endowment in accordance with recently adopted ethical investing principles. And they provided an update on the Planetary Solutions Project, an ambitious campus-wide initiative launched in December 2020 that is bringing the full weight of Yale’s expertise and resources to bear on pressing global crises.