US colleges cut coal use by 2m tonnes since 2008

Educational institutions in the US cut coal use from two million tonnes in 2008 to 700,000 tonnes in 2015. Coal consumption fell in each of the 57 colleges and universities […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Educational institutions in the US cut coal use from two million tonnes in 2008 to 700,000 tonnes in 2015.

Coal consumption fell in each of the 57 colleges and universities that used the fuel in 2008, with 20 of these institutions cutting it out of their energy mix completely, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Many of these institutions are part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, a programme dedicated to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions even though they made up less than 0.1% of total coal consumption in 2015.

Coal has largely been replaced by natural gas or other similar fuels.

Educational institutions in New York, South Carolina, Idaho, and South Dakota ceased coal use between 2008 and 2015.

The largest reductions by weight occurred in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Indiana’s colleges and universities collectively reduced coal consumption by 260,000 tonnes (81%). It was replaced mostly by natural gas and geothermal heat to meet sustainability initiatives set by each university.