University of California adopts new, stronger climate action goals

Recognizing the need for an urgent, coordinated response to the climate crisis, the University of California is accelerating its transition away from fossil fuels with an update to its Sustainable Practices Policy.

UC climate experts, sustainability officers, and other campus leaders developed revised climate action goals for the policy over a long process lasting months. Gathering input was accomplished through public forums and other avenues attended by faculty, students, and staff. The new goals were then unanimously endorsed, with a revised policy approved in July 2023.

All ten campuses and six academic health centers now commit to prioritizing direct emission reductions, limiting the use of carbon offsets, and aligning UC’s climate goals with state of California goals.

What comes next for a fossil fuel-free pathway includes efforts like more energy efficient buildings, clean energy supplies, sustainable foodservice, sustainable water systems, sustainable procurement, and waste diversion.

These stronger targets build on UC’s already significant achievements in cutting its carbon emissions and playing a lead role within California to address the climate crisis through research, education, and public service.

The new Sustainable Practices Policy puts in place a framework and timetable for each UC campus and academic health center to fully decarbonize no later than 2045, while hitting progressively significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, 2035, and 2040.

A state-funded decarbonization study is already underway here at UCLA that will help inform strategies, emission targets, and location-specific climate action plans.

UCLA’s study of the campus’s energy infrastructure is guided by Bruins from the sustainability, capital programs, and facilities management units, and advised by a Decarbonization Task Force that includes faculty and student advocates.

For more information on the updated Sustainable Practices Policy, see the FAQ on UC’s new climate action goals.