University of California, Irvine
Climate Action Plan
The Climate Action Plan (CAP) provides a road map for the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to achieve its institutional climate protection commitments in support of University of California (UC) sustainability policy, the UC 2025 Carbon Neutrality Initiative, and campus sustainability goals. These commitments include reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 (a reduction of approximately 49 percent from projected emissions), climate neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 sources (on-site combustion of fossil fuels and purchased electricity) by 2025, and climate neutrality including Scope 3 sources (UCI commuters and University funded air travel) by 2050.
The CAP was initially adopted in 2007 and has guided an array of climate protection actions and projects to reduce UCI GHG emissions. CAP initiatives implemented to date have resulted in an estimated reduction in GHG emissions of 22,000 metric tons per year. Looking forward, UCI will need to significantly increase the rate of GHG emission abatement achieved in the 2007-2015 period to mitigate existing GHG emission sources, plus growth-related emissions, to achieve and sustain emission reduction targets for 2020, 2025, and 2050.
UCI’s CAP strategy seeks to (1) balance environmental and financial stewardship by investing in actions that provide long term value and result in enduring carbon emission reductions; (2) focus on actions that support UCI’s mission and values; and (3) engage all sectors of the UCI community in pursuit of UCI’s climate protection goals. The Irvine Campus and Medical Center in the City of Orange share common policy, vision, and strategy in achieving UCI’s climate protection and sustainability commitments, but the two geographically separate campuses have distinct infrastructure systems and operations which rely on site-specific tracking of emissions, and GHG reduction actions focused on the unique systems and opportunities at each site.
CAP implementation actions for the Main Campus prioritize low carbon growth, deep energy efficiency and green building to minimize energy use, deployment of on-site renewable energy systems, and procuring off-site clean and renewable energy to replace fossil-fuel energy sources. Additional CAP actions will include UC-catalyzed or UC-supported off-site actions that result in verified, mission-consistent carbon offsets to fill the gap between existing emission levels and annual targets.
CAP implementation for the Medical Center focuses on energy system upgrades, deep energy efficiency, on-site renewable energy, and procuring GHG-free energy from off-site sources. Some Medical Center CAP opportunities are constrained by pending redevelopment of aging facilities, which limits the ability to invest in energy efficiency or renewable energy projects due to uncertainty in project lifetime.
The CAP provides a framework for UCI to track annual campus and Medical Center GHG emissions, identify strategy and resulting actions for GHG emission avoidance or abatement, and monitor plan implementation and new opportunities. Successful implementation of the CAP will require campuswide engagement, collaborations with UC systemwide efforts, and significant investment in resources.
The 2016 CAP Update was prepared by the office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability
Richard Demerjian, Assistant Vice Chancellor