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Greenhouse Gas Reduction
In 2015, UMB experienced a 3.8 percent decrease in Total Gross CO2 Emissions.
In the past year, the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) made progress toward its 2050 carbon neutrality goal.
Carbon neutrality is an effort to decrease greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are the result of human activities such as deforestation, land use change, and fossil fuel burning. The consequences of changing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere include warmer temperatures, new climate patterns, and increased sea levels. For 650,000 years, atmospheric CO2 levels have never been above 300 parts per million. Until now.
To combat climate change, UMB is reducing its use of electricity, fuel, and steam, and investing in renewable sources of energy.
Highlights from 2015 include:
- The campus experienced a 3.8 percent decrease in Total Gross CO2 Emissions. With our Renewable Energy Certificates (REC's) included there was a 4.3 percent decrease in Total Gross Emissions.
- At 154,589 eCO2 Tonnes for 2015, our Total Gross Emissions are down 10.8 percent since our peak of 173,290 in FY06. We are at the lowest level since FY02.
- The campus experienced a 6.3 percent decrease in electric emissions due to the shift in fuel mix by our electrical producer from coal to natural gas. (See PJM historical chart)
- We experienced a 1.2 percent increase in steam emissions. This increase was primarily due to the extreme cold we experienced during January and February.
- Our lower eCO2 Net Emissions also benefited from an increase in our REC purchases, which were mainly driven by a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) increase for calendar year 2015.
Downward Trend in UMB's Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Based upon the various metric categories that we report on as a member of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment UMB has been experiencing a downward trending in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that we have been reporting on since 2007.
Move to Cleaner Fuels
Since 2010 our electrical supplier fuel mix has been changing from less coal dependence to more cleaner natural gas dependence.