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UMaine to join Bangor and Orono in fighting climate change

Earlier this summer, the city of Bangor and the town of Orono joined forces to address the region’s impact on the environment.

ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine is partnering with Bangor and Orono to address their impact on the local climate.

According to the memorandum of understanding signed by Bangor and Orono officials earlier this summer, the two municipalities hope to develop a regional climate action plan that lays out ways to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The planning process will include emissions inventories, climate vulnerability assessments, in addition to the climate action plan. 

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“[Finding ways] to best protect our planet and to look to the future [is a big theme for us]," said UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy. "We have deep knowledge through our research efforts across multiple domains that we need to bring that to the local communities and to be helpful as the state of Maine, and our communities plan going forward." 

UMaine is home to the Climate Change Institute. The university has already committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2040, said Ferrini-Mundy.

"Once we get this MOU finalized, which will be very soon, then we will be working more deeply with our partners to really take a look at what the research tells us and where we can make a difference," Ferrini-Mundy said. 

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According to the agreement between UMaine, Bangor, and Orono, it could take up to two years before they are ready to present a climate action plan.