Mission and Objectives

The All Hands on Deck’ Going to Zero Campaign is a program created by volunteers from Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC) participating colleges and universities and the cosponsoring organizations  motivated by a common understanding that the world is rapidly running out of time to prevent catastrophic climate change. Achieving the Paris Agreement’s warming limit goals of between 1.5 degree C and 2.0 degree C agreed to by 195 nations in 2015 now requires all levels of government around the world and public and private sector organizations to immediately begin to plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero in this Century.

Although preventing dangerous climate change is now an extraordinarily serious challenge for the international community, recently many cities and local governments around the world have begun to make serious commitments to reduce GHG emissions creating some hope that catastrophic warming can be avoided if this trend continues. See,  why cities and local government

The campaign supports and calls on all levels of Pennsylvania government, that is state, county, and local government and public and private sector organizations to immediately begin to plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to ideally, but not necessarily, to net zero levels as soon as possible and aspirationally no later than 2050. Any delay in reducing GHG emissions will make it more difficult to achieve reductions urgently needed to prevent catastrophic climate change harms.

Although the program encourages all local governments to reduce GHG emissions to their fair share of safe global GHG emissions, all local governments are encouraged to reduce GHG emissions to levels that make economic sense for them mindful that many local governments around the world that have established GHG reduction commitments are reporting that they are saving money, improving the quality of life, and creating jobs. Local governments that agree to reduce their GHG emissions are only committing to reduce their emissions to levels that they have determined are feasible by them. In addition, creating a stakeholder group to explore what GHG emissions are feasible will not be interpreted as a commitment to reduce GHG emissions until the local government determines what makes sense for it.

The campaign was created because Pennsylvania has a particular duty to act on climate change: Pennsylvania GHGs comprise approximately 1% of global GHG emissions while Pennsylvania’s population is only approximately 0.2 % of the global population. The campaign has been motivated also because local governments around the world are beginning to step up to the climate change challenge. Many of these governments are reporting that their efforts to reduce GHG emissions are saving money, improving the quality of life, and creating jobs.

In light  of this, this program calls for:

  1. All levels of Pennsylvania government, including state, county, and local government, and private and public sector organizations in Pennsylvania to: (a) immediately begin to develop a strategy to achieve reduce GHG emissions at levels that the local government or organization has determined are feasible mindful that 194 nations agreed in Paris in 2015 to reduce GHG emissions to net zero in this Century, and (b) to commit to achieving the GHG emissions reduction target determined by the strategy by the date identified in the strategy,
  2. All Pennsylvania organizations and institutions with knowledge and expertise relevant to efforts to reduce GHG emissions including but not limited to the Pennsylvania state government, colleges and universities, and associations of counties, cities, municipalities, to be of assistance, to the extent feasible, to county and local government efforts to reduce GHG emissions within their jurisdiction,
  3. All Pennsylvania civic organizations concerned about the enormous potential harm from human-induced warming to Pennsylvania and people and places around the world to encourage all levels of Pennsylvania government and private and public sector organizations to begin planning to reduce GHG emissions as quickly as possible to levels required to prevent dangerous climate change