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State and private colleges reach agreement on clean energy campaign

New York State and private colleges are linking arms to support cleaner energy.

The state announced on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding between the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, representing 100 institutions.

“Private colleges in New York are already at the forefront of research and development related to climate change and energy efficiency so we are excited to bring our expertise together with NYSERDA’s in this unique partnership,” said Mary Beth Labate, president of the CICU. “There is no issue of greater urgency or magnitude facing our state and our nation than climate change. It is only by bringing public and private resources together to collaborate that we will make progress toward sustainable solutions.”

The memo says the state agency and college association will work together to

  • Establish an energy committee of CICU volunteers and others to identify energy issues and opportunities for member colleges and universities
  • Create an inventory of the commission members’ carbon emissions.
  • Release a webinar series of NYSERDA programming for member colleges and universities
  • Develop and pilot clean energy and energy efficiency programs for the higher education sector
  • Promote NYSERDA workforce development and training programs in the college market.

Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA said, “This MOU is another major step forward in Governor Cuomo’s steadfast commitment to decarbonizing the grid and bringing clean energy solutions for all New Yorkers. Our collaborative partnership will help New York State remain at the forefront of the battle against climate change and ensure all colleges and universities and their students across the state have the opportunity to benefit from the energy transition.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has set a goal for the state of zero carbon emissions by 2040 as part of New York’s New Green Deal, aimed at creating jobs while battling climate change.

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