Launching Electrify UC!

Check out our new website, ElectrifyUC.org, for all you need to know about this campaign!

Over the past several months we’ve been busy calling on UC leadership to reconsider their reliance on fracked methane to power campus energy needs. At the end of 2020 we pushed a petition demanding that the UC develop plans to electrify their energy systems. Point being, we cannot continue to burn fracked methane on our campuses, the extraction process is toxic for local communities and the emissions are destabilizing out climate. If leadership make the smaller investment now to make plans, it’ll be easier to get the substantial money needed to make the infrastructure changes.

This petition garnered 3500 individual signatures as well as endorsements from unions representing nearly 50,000 workers!

Since then, coalition members have met with Chancellors at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UC San Diego; as well as getting a meeting with Executive Vice President Nava and members of the Global Climate Leadership Council in December. Prof Mary Gauvain, chair of the UC Faculty Senate, announced that they are working to extend our recommendations systemwide so we know we’re shifting the conversation around energy systems plans!

The work is far from over, we hope you’ll help to see it through. Join us.

Is the University of California really going “fossil free”?

Not so fast, argue some of our members in this op-ed piece, also mentioned on Cronkite News, and the UCSD Triton News.

The crux, they say, is a quote by the Chief Investment Officer of UC: “We don’t look at oil and gas as a goal that has to be accomplished by a certain amount, to reduce a certain amount of investment. We look at it as financial risk or a financial opportunity.” Public video of him saying this can be seen here.

The authors go on: “It is clear that this is not yet a commitment to divest, it is instead de-risking. It means the university can, and surely will, buy back fossil fuel investments any time they are attractive. Even now, we cannot evaluate the claim that the “entire investment portfolio is fossil free.” This is because many kinds of investments are exposed to fossil fuels. What is needed is a fully transparent listing, such as we are now requesting via committees of the academic senate, of all the University’s investments in companies involved in the exploration, extraction, transportation, refining and utilization of fossil fuels.”

We at the Green New Deal at UCSD call on the Regents to instruct the Chief Financial Officer to:

  • provide full transparency on fossil fuel related investments, past, present and future
  • if not already done, divest from all funds that are exposed to fossil fuels, both equity and bonds, direct and indirect, public and private, and in all companies involved in the exploration, extraction, transportation, and refining of fossil fuels
  • never to reinvest in the future.

Changing the world: Putting the climate crisis into the search for the new UC president

The University of California is the biggest employer in the 5th biggest economy in the world. We want our new UC president to be a model for the whole world, by leading on real DECARBONIZATION not fake “carbon neutrality”. We generated a petition that got support from 36 organizations and 2400 supporters across the 10 UCs: students, faculty, staff, deans, provosts, chairs, esteemed climate scientists and a Nobel Prize winner!