Cover of Report: 2013 Cornell University Climate Action Plan Update and Roadmap
Climate Action Plan Update & Roadmap 2013  (PDF)
The most comprehensive print document available.  See below for more recent updates.

Planning for Carbon Neutrality by 2035

The Climate Action Plan is Cornell’s overarching plan for carbon neutrality for campus operations, the advancement of a living laboratory for climate research and teaching, and global solutions for a low-carbon future. 

By demonstrating scalable low-carbon solutions on campus, advancing climate literacy and research initiatives, and accelerating impact through collaborative partnerships locally and globally, we can make a difference.  Learn more about the plan's history and outline here, or jump to Explore Plan Actions to see Cornell's current priorities.

Explore : Key Documents | Why Carbon Neutrality | History of Climate Action | About the Plan  | Key Facts | Related Goals | Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Pie chart with text overlay: 36% reduction in greenhouse gas emisisonsProgress to Neutrality
As of the most recent greenhouse gas inventory, Cornell has reduced emissions 36% from our 2008 baseline, and 50% when compared to 1990 emission levels.  Explore progress from this year and previous years in our annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory which includes detailed data on reductions achieved across campus.

Key Plan Documents

The 2013 Climate Action Plan Update - commonly referred to as the 2013 Roadmap - can be considered the most recent comprehensive document and is a good place to begin to understand the University's strategy to achieve carbon neutrality goals. Subsequent reports such as Options for a Carbon Neutral Campus have focused on creating plans or research implementation strategies for specific aspects of the CAP, but have not substantially altered the initial strategy outlined in the 2009 original plan or 2013 update.

In 2014, Cornell University moved to updating the Climate Action Plan as a "living document" online.  See Explore Plan Actions for recent updates to the plan, and tactics and strategy. 

Report cover for Climate Action Plan Update & Roadmap (2013)


Climate Action Plan Update 2013 (PDF)

Published: December 2013

Most recent comprehensive print update to the CAP. Developed by the Campus Sustainability Office and President’s Sustainable Campus Committee (PSCC).

Report cover: Options for a Carbon Neutral Campus by 2035


Options for a Carbon Neutral Campus (Page)

Published: October 2016

Technical and financial analysis of solutions to power & heat the Ithaca campus to meet the goal of carbon neutrality by 2035. 

Report cover: Climate Neutrality Acceleration Plan


CAP Goal Acceleration Working Group Report (PDF)

Published: June 2014

Examined new climate science and recommended accelerating the carbon neutrality date from 2050 to 2035, then adopted by the administration.

Report cover: CAP 2011 Update Summary


CAP 2011 Update Summary (PDF)

Published: January 2012

Summary of the 2011 Climate Action Plan update.

Report cover: CAP 2011 Update Full


Climate Action Plan 2011 Update Full (PDF)

Published: January 2012

After reducing emissions 25% in the first two years of the carbon commitment, the CAP was updated with new strategies.

Report cover: CAP 2009 Original Report


Original Climate Action Plan 2009 (PDF)

Published:  September 2009

After President Skorton committed the institution to carbon neutrality in 2007, the first comprehensive action plan was released in 2009.


Question markHow can I get involved? The best way to support Cornell's progress to carbon neutrality is to read the reports below, join a club or sustainability team, and look for ways to reduce emissions or improve sustainability where you live and work. 

Cornell is a member of several national and global partnerships to advance climate leadership. Learn more on our Partnerships page.