By Colleen McCamy
Chancellor Yang Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2025
Reaffirms commitment to UC-wide goal
UCSB— Preceding COP21, the international climate talks in Paris this winter, Chancellor Henry Yang signed a pledge affirming UCSB’s commitment to the UC-wide goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025. Ahead of the Conference of Climate Change, our Chancellor along with more than 200 Colleges and Universities signed the “American Campus Act on Climate Pledge to Demonstrate Support for Strong International Climate Action.”
The University of California has been a strong supporter of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in 2013 the UC Office of the President created the Carbon Neutrality Initiative which commits UC campuses to emitting zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025. The American Campus Act on Climate Pledge, which Chancellor Yang signed, affirms UCSB’s commitment to the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative. The pledge states the University of California, Santa Barbara will, “With UC, achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 and create thresholds for increasing climate resilience.” In addition, the pledge outlines its commitment to expand research in carbon neutrality and climate resilience, and expand campus renewable energy and expand efficiency programs.
Attached is the link to the commitment on the UCSB Sustainability website.
Carbon Neutrality’s Impact
Achieving carbon neutrality is vital to curb the effects of climate change. The UC system can become the first university system to do so, and set an example to schools and organizations around the world about what is possible. In signing this commitment for UCSB to adhere to the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, Chancellor Yang has localized the initiative on our campus specifically within the system wide initiative. This notion allows for UCSB staff, faculty, and students to work directly with UCSB in achieving carbon neutrality by 2025 and adds more validation for the work already done in reducing carbon emissions.
In 2014 our campus was able to drop emissions below 1990 levels, reaching our 2020 target 6 years early through increased energy efficiency. . Renewable energy will also play a large role in reducing our emissions. In Spring of this year construction will begin on a project to install over 5 megawatts of solar at six sites on Campus., which will account for 10% of UCSB’s energy needs. With the American Campus Act on Climate Pledge, UCSB will continue its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and reach carbon neutrality.