UC Santa Barbara is committed to Climate Action and has reduced total emissions ~60% below 1990 levels despite the tremendous growth in students served by our institution. The UCSB campus has over 6.2 megawatts of on-site solar energy, which provides approximately 15% of UCSB’s electrical demand. The campus’ remaining electricity demand for the main campus is met through the procurement of carbon-free electricity through the UC Clean Power Program. 


New UC Climate Policy 

The new UC Sustainable Practices policy requires:

  • Each location achieves at least a 90% reduction in total emissions (Scopes 1, 2, and 3) by no later than the calendar year 2045, and negates any residual emissions by carbon removal.
  • Each UC location set Scope 1 GHG reduction targets for 2030, 2035, and 2040. 
  • Each UC location prepares an updated climate action plan (CAP) to establish and achieve the above GHG emission reduction goals. 

GHG emissions graphic

Emissions Reporting

UC Santa Barbara  reports its official Scope I and II emissions to the nonprofit The Climate Registry (TCR), a nonprofit emissions registry for North America. These emissions follow TCR's General Reporting Protocol, are third-party verified, and are reported publically on TCR's website. To date, emissions inventories have been submitted and verified for calendar years (CY) 2004 through 2022. The inventory included all six Kyoto Protocol gases for scope 1 and 2 emissions. 

Scope 1- Direct Emissions: on-site combustion and fugitive emissions
Scope 2- Indirect Emissions: purchased electricity
Scope 3- Indirect Emissions (Other): University-funded business air travel and commuting

Energy System

Campus Decarbonization Study

Over 90% of UCSB’s operational GHG emissions are a result of the combustion of natural gas on campus for heating and cooling. To help the UC campuses achieve at least a 90% reduction in total emissions, each UC location has received funding for decarbonization planning efforts. The Pathways to a Fossil Free UC (P2FFUC) Task Force is responsible for overseeing the distribution and use of the funds and has developed scoping guidance for the state-funded decarbonization studies. Learn more about UCSB’s Decarbonization Study Project Committee.


Our campus has a track record of research in Energy efficiency, for example Shuji Nakamura’s invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources LED. 



Reduction in Energy Use

UCSB campus has reduced its overall energy use intensity by more than 19% over the past 10-year period.


2018/2019 investment in energy conservation

In 2018/2019 The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) allocated $112,897 towards energy conservation projects. Check out the projects here.