How Should Columbia Drive Climate Change Innovation?
By Carla Cantor
As the climate crisis mounts, Columbia has turned to its students for ideas in addressing one of the most critical global challenges of our times.
On Nov. 8 and 11, the university’s Climate Change Task Force, led by Alex Halliday, held two Town Hall discussions to explore ways in which students can help create a roadmap for Columbia’s climate response that will serve as a model for action in higher education.
About 20 students spoke at each forum, offering ideas that ranged from innovative clean-energy solutions to improved climate education to hands-on support for students choosing environmental and sustainability career pathways.
Some of the ideas generated at the Town Hall:
- Develop continuing education climate courses to expose a broader audience to climate education and expand the university’s reach and impact. Strengthen course offerings to high school students who participate in Columbia summer programs.
- Reduce the university’s carbon footprint even further. Suggested initiatives include refitting buildings to be more energy-efficient, adding compost bins, reconsider maintaining the greenery of campus lawns and installing additional bike racks.
- Provide incentives for students to represent the university as climate communicators, such as academic credit to visit New York City schools and community events or providing funding to attend global meetings, such as the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.
Read more suggestions and the full article on Columbia News.