More than 50 students rallied for clean energy at San Jose State as the rest of the world began implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to stop global warming.
As Kyoto takes effect, CSU students rally for clean energy.
Students gathered on campus to hand out slushies made with solar energy by Greenpeace's "Rolling Sunlight" solar truck and called on CalState University (CSU) Chancellor Charles Reed to quit stalling the development of a clean energy policy for the statewide university system. Rallying students held up signs that read, "Reed: Why wait? Clean Energy for CalState."
"On the day that the world is moving forward on clean energy, we want to make sure CSU is not being left in the dust," said Evelyn Gutierrez, a senior at CSU who spoke at the rally. "Already the UC system and the cities of San Francisco and San Diego have committed to clean energy. We want 25 percent of CSU energy to come from renewables like wind and solar by 2014."
Institutions across the state are committing to clean energy. Greenpeace and students persuaded the University of California system and the Los Angeles Community College District to make significant investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. CalState is the last major public educational institution in California to develop a clean energy policy.
RenewCSU, the statewide student campaign working to bring clean energy to CSU, sponsored the event. The group has been working to ensure that the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Reed create a strong clean energy policy for CSU by summer 2005. Last May the Board voted to create a committee of students, faculty and staff that will complete a cost-benefit study and recommend clean energy goals in July. The committee has met only once since May, and the Chancellor's office has yet to sign a contract to have the cost-benefit study completed.
"Chancellor Reed has waited nine months to respond to the requests of his own Board and over a year to respond to the challenge of his students," said Josh Lynch, Greenpeace Organizer. "The students are out here to send a message that we will not wait another five months to see progress. Our future can't wait for another energy crisis for CalState to move forward."
The campaign has been widely endorsed by CSU students, faculty and politicians across the state who support clean energy and sustainability.
"CSU students want clean energy and it is time for Chancellor Reed to work with us to Renew CSU," said Lynch.