MIT Should go net zero along with the rest of Cambridge by Team MITACAL
MIT should implement its part in the 25 year Net Zero Action Plan for Cambridge to get to net zero emissions.
MIT participated in the city's Getting to Net Zero Task force. In addition to doing research, MIT should implement existing technologies to reduce its emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This includes not only buildings but also transportation.
What actions do you propose?
Net zero starts with reducing the energy required to operate. This means focusing on efficiency. That means upgrading buildings to add necessary insulation, switching to air-sourced or geothermal heat pumps, and adding solar panels where possible.
For transportation it means upgrading the vehicle fleet to electric cars, which is a great opportunity to innovate on vehicle to grid technologies, self-driving cars and more. Also providing EV charging stages in garages and parking lots.
Last but not least, switching the energy supply to 100% renewable sources. This means phasing out natural gas, diesel and other fossil fuels. To supply the energy, MIT should sign long-term energy contracts with solar or wind developers.
Who will take these actions?
The MIT administration needs to take these actions, starting with a planning phase that should include all the stakeholders including students, faculty, staff, and alums. Like the city of Cambridge, a long-term plan is needed for how to achieve these goals.
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
What are other key benefits?
Cleaner air, cleaner water, better health.
What are the proposal’s costs?
No additional costs need be incurred; all upgrades can be done as part of scheduled maintenance, and energy savings amortized over time will result in overall net savings to MIT.
In the short term a task force is assembled to plan out the next 25 to 30 years to achieve the net zero goal.