President Napolitano announced the Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI) in November 2013. The initiative commits the UC buildings and vehicle fleet to emitting net zero greenhouse gases of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions* by 2025. This project not only mitigates the UC contribution to global climate disruption, but sets an example for the world to follow. No other institution in the world has the intellectual resources, the long-term financial stability, or the passion of young minds that the university offers. It is our responsibility to set a precedent of stewardship and responsibility. Specifically, the initiative focuses on climate research, improving energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy, and implementing strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

President Napolitano had formed a Global Climate Leadership Council composed of scientists, administrators, students, and experts to advise the UC on energy services, applicable research, medical center climate action, sustainability policy, faculty and student engagement, health sciences and services, financial strategies and communications to  achieve the 2025 goal.  Find out more about the initiative here.

In partnership with Vox, the University of California also created a video series, Climate Lab, to conceptualize climate change solutions and methods of thinking about it.

Some of our favorites:

The Carbon Neutrality Initiative at UCSB

Over the last couple of years, our campus has been successful in advancing the goals of the initiative through improvements in energy efficiency, renewable energy, outreach, and education.

UCSB had already achieved the 2014 and 2020 goals to reduce GHG emissions first to 2000 then 1990 levels. Chancellor Henry Yang signed a pledge in accordance with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Conference of Parties (COP 21) and many staff, students, and faculty have been working towards carbon neutrality through engagement, research, and project implementation.

UCSB is currently installing over 6 megawatts of solar on campus. This will account for about 15 percent the university’s energy needs.

*Emission Scopes

  • Scope 1- Direct Emissions: on-site natural gas, diesel and propane combustion; campus fleet emissions; marine vessel emissions; and fugitive emissions
  • Scope 2- Indirect Emissions: purchased electricity
  • Scope 3- Indirect Emissions (Other): University-funded business air travel and student staff and faculty commuting