We are part of a UC-wide movement to make the 10 University of California campuses fossil free. A 9-minute background video created by UCSD students on why the UC system should become fossil-free is at https://vimeo.com/546258204. Additional background is at https://electrifyuc.org.
Here is a little history on system-wide efforts:
- Late 2000s: The UC Policy on Sustainable Practices requires campuses to reach 2000 GHG emissions levels by 2014, 1990 levels by 2020, and carbon neutrality eventually at an unspecified date.
- 2013: UC President Janet Napolitano announces the Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI), committing UC to net zero for Scope 1 and 2 (on-campus+ purchased) emissions by 2025 and Scope 3 (off-campus) emissions by 2050. Campuses begin working to meet the CNI goal.
- 2019: After a 10-year campaign, faculty on all campuses vote to ask UC Regents for fossil fuel divestment (ending investments in fossil fuels). The U.C. Chief Investment Officer announces that UC will do this.
- 2020: UC announces that its $215B in investments are fossil-free, though these appear to still include suppliers to the oil and gas industry.
- 2020: It becomes clear that UC will need to rely on large amounts of offsets to meet the 2025 CNI goal, and has no plan for reducing these over time. The goal of climate activists becomes for UC to end use of fossil fuels altogether, without offsets.
- 2020: A UC Energy Systems Petition, sponsored by Green New Deal organizations at multiple campuses, is signed by 3,375 UC faculty, students, and staff, and endorsed by two major unions representing 50,000 staff. A short video on this petition is here: https://vimeo.com/464041617. A website with further information is here: https://ucsdgreennewdeal.net/index.php/2020/10/18/yay-our-uc-energy-system-petition-has-been-finalized/.
- 2021: Faculty from all campuses meet with leadership of the systemwide Academic Senate and receive strong support for pushing their campuses to be fossil-free.
Here is a little history on UC Davis efforts to reduce GHG emissions:
- 2007: UCD organizes large Focus-the-Nation climate teach-in
- 2010: UCD opens phase 1 of West Village (intended to be ZNE but only 80%)
- 2010: UCD adopts its first Climate Action Plan (goal of 1999 levels by 2014, 1990 by 2020)
- 2016: UCD builds 16MW of solar photovoltaics S of I-80
- 2016: The College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences adopts climate leadership as 1 of 4 Strategic Plan priorities; does a cluster hire in climate adaptation but not mitigation (GHG reduction)
- 2017: One Climate Initiative begun; mainly a license to fundraise
- 2018: Climate Science & Policy minor begun
- 2019: 70+% of UCD faculty vote to support UC divestment from fossil fuels
- 2019: UCD Chancellor Gary May joins other UC Chancellors and heads of >7,000 universities in signing Climate Emergency Letter recognizing “the need for a drastic societal shift to combat the growing threat of climate change”
- 2020: UCD begins the Big Shift to switch from steam to hot water heating and cooling pipes across campus; sets the stage for electrification
- 2020: ~30 UCD faculty, staff & students meet with Chancellor May and others to ask for a fossil-free commitment. UC begins to set up a new Sustainability Committee.