In November 2013, President Napolitano announced the Carbon Neutrality Initiative. The initiative commits the UC buildings and vehicle fleet to emitting net zero greenhouse gases of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions* by 2025 to help mitigate the UC contribution to global climate disruption and end its reliance on fossil fuels. The initiative calls upon climate research, improving energy efficiency, increasing renewable energy, and implementing related 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.

With 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.

Videos include:

UC Carbon Neutrality 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, and 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 5 megawatts of solar on campus. This will account for about 11 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