How You Can Help Mobilize Rutgers for Climate Action

animated globe
animated globe
Registration is open for the May 4 event Mobilizing the University for Climate Transformation

As Rutgers advances a climate action plan, which includes a university commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, President Jonathan Holloway and the Office of Climate Action are inviting the university community to help develop and advance equitable climate solutions and to contribute to the decarbonization of Rutgers, New Jersey and the United States.

The Mobilizing the University for Climate Transformation event on May 4 will bring together faculty, staff and students from across Rutgers to learn about climate action and associated scholarship taking place, and to identify new opportunities for collaboration among Rutgers community members.

“We have a great deal to do as we set to work on achieving carbon neutrality and tackling our climate action plan’s call to advance decarbonization and climate adaptation in partnership with communities across the state,” Holloway said in a message to the community. “While some of this progress will be accomplished through capital planning, our plan also calls upon us to integrate decarbonization, climate adaptation, and sustainability into research, teaching, outreach, engagement, campus life, and university policy across Rutgers. Achieving this ambitious goal depends upon the involvement of each of us as individuals.”

By the end of the decade, plans call for the university to reduce direct fossil fuel emission by 20 percent, transition to clean electricity and significantly reduce carbon emissions related to procurement. Together, these steps should reduce university emissions about 45 percent by 2030 and place Rutgers on track for net-zero emissions by 2040.

Registration is open to all faculty, staff and students. All registrants will receive virtual access to the event, but in-person tickets will be limited based on availability.

Rutgers Today talked with Robert Kopp, co-director of the Office of Climate Action, director of the Megalopolitan Coastal Transformation Hub and professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Rutgers-New Brunswick School of Arts and Sciences, about the timely importance of the upcoming event and why every Rutgers community member needs to get involved in climate action planning.

Why should all Rutgers community members – faculty, staff and students – take part in the Mobilizing the University for Climate Transformation event?

This event is a chance for the Rutgers community to come together to learn about climate action that is already happening at the university, the goals we are aiming to achieve and how each member of the community can participate. Faculty, staff and students should come to this event to learn, share and have some fun. This is really our first chance since the development of the Climate Action Plan to come together as a community, and building community around climate action is critical to the success of this initiative.

How will this event help advance the goals of the university’s climate action plan?

The climate action plan envisions climate action as a core strategic priority of the university. Achieving this vision requires developing a culture of sustainability at Rutgers that unites students, faculty and staff. This event brings us a step closer to that goal by creating a venue for discussion, exploration and connection.

In the process of developing the climate action plan and in the first few months of setting up the Office of Climate Action, we have found people throughout the Rutgers community who are quietly advancing climate action. This event is a chance to share some of that work with the broader community. The event will showcase the breadth of climate action work happening at Rutgers and the many different skills, talents and perspectives needed to advance climate action, and will also identify opportunities for new collaborations.

What is the Climate Transformation Showcase and who should participate and highlight their work?

From working with communities to advance mitigation and adaptation, to communicating climate change through dance, to on-campus composting, the Climate Transformation Showcase will feature some of the many ways that Rutgers community members are engaging with climate action. We hope that their work will inspire attendees from all backgrounds to find creative new ways to approach their work or to get involved. We are still welcoming submissions of artwork of all mediums, research posters or demonstrations, performances and projects related to the theme of climate transformation. Please email Katie Parrish at for more information.

This article was written by Dory Devlin and published by Rutgers Today on April 21, 2022.