Meet the president of the Climate Reality Project at NC State

Meet the president of the Climate Reality Project at NC State

The Climate Reality Project Campus Corps has spent the last three semesters working on a campaign to commit NC State to using 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. The university’s administration signed on to the project last semester, and now the group is switching gears for a new campaign. Meredith Bain, chairwoman of the local

The Climate Reality Project Campus Corps has spent the last three semesters working on a campaign to commit NC State to using 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

The university’s administration signed on to the project last semester, and now the group is switching gears for a new campaign.

Meredith Bain, chairwoman of the local chapter at NC State, talks about the campaign and the CRCC’s future plans.

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

A: I am a junior at NC State. I study math and German.

Q: What has the Climate Reality Project been working on?

A: For the last year and a half, we were running a campaign to get NC State to transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by the year 2030.

Q: How was the campaign run and what were the results?

A: The Climate Reality Project was an international organization that was founded by Al Gore after the success of his documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” So, what they were originally doing was training a bunch of people to talk about climate change in their communities and they did that all over the world. So, our old president, the one right before me, actually invented the campus corps movement when she was an intern in D.C. in the summer of 2016. They had about 5 campuses, we were one along with UC Boulder and others. They are usually state schools that have engineering. Their inaugural campaign was the 100 percent committed campaign.

For NC State, we had two semesters of a lot of grassroots enthusiasm because we had an outside organizer who trained all the executives on how to run a campaign and how to petition. So, we had a very robust grassroots side but we didn’t have much of a plan. We would then meet with the chancellor at the end of every semester and be like, “Are you cool with us getting renewable electricity?” And, he was kind of appeasing us. So, as my first semester as president, I said we had to change this or we wouldn’t get a firm commitment. We started looking for a cost-neutral way to do it, which involved a big proposal of a purchase agreement and some ways that the administration could take advantage of new legislation that’s coming.

Q: What are the future plans for the campus corp?

A: Now, we are changing our sights to working on the carbon neutrality plan. So, in 2008, the university signed an agreement where the goal of that was to make campuses carbon neutral by 2050. The university published a plan in 2010 called the Climate Action Plan, but a lot of it was left blank since it was so far in the future. Now, we’re getting really close to 2020, and 2050 is only 30 years away. We just want to make sure that the university is on track or even ahead of schedule for being carbon neutral.

Q: How can students get involved?

Find us on our website or our media outlets. Each month, we have one general body meeting and one event so come out to those to get involved with the campaign and we can put you on a working group.

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Iman Usmani
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