About Us

The University of California Green New Deal Coalition is a democratically organized coalition of UC organizations and individuals, including students, trainees, staff, unions, faculty, retirees, alumni, and local community members that campaigns for concrete and integrated actions which the University of California (UC) must take to help prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis and to promote environmental justice.

As a leader in climate science, the UC has a responsibility to model the types of climate policy that the world should be adopting. While recognizing the effects climate change will have on our own campuses, we stand in solidarity with frontline communities bearing the brunt of climate change. We call on the UC to deploy its investment, procurement, educational, labor, and research power to help drive a just transition to a more equitable, accountable, and carbon-free future.

History and Timeline: A Roadmap For Success

The UC GND Coalition was established in March 2020 when the COVID pandemic restrictions kept us in our homes and our organizing shifted online. This provided the perfect opportunity to build connections with organizers across the UC-system and form our Coalition. 

Below is a brief timeline of a history of campaigns, initiatives and wins:

2020

UC Green New Deal Coalition was established
Growing membership, establishing governance structures

2021

UC GND policy platform crafted
Policy drafted by coalition-members, open feedback period for community comments, revisions to incorporate community input

2022

Petition for the UC to enact our UC GND policy platform
Gathering support for our policy platform through petition signatures, endorsements, and by growing our membership. Challenging the UC reliance on carbon offsets, rather than emission reductions. 
Earth Day rallies coordinated across all 10 campuses highlighting the need for a UC GND.
Voter turnout drive for the Senate Faculty memorial calling for investments to  significantly reduce on-campus fossil fuel combustion. Memorial passed; 80% voted yes!
Petition delivered to 10 campus Chancellors and Sustainability Officers, the UC Board of Regents, and President Drake. 
UC allocated $10 million for campuses to develop electrification plans to investigate how to phase out on-campus fossil fuel combustion. ****WIN****
UC establishes a “Pathways to a Fossil Free UC” taskforce to focus on on-campus emission reductions, rather than using carbon offsets ****WIN****

2023

Turnout public comment on UC Climate Protection Policy  calling for accelerated
and more ambitious goals. 
UC updates its UC Systemwide Sustainable Practices Policy to end its reliance on carbon offsets (ending the era of the Climate Neutrality Initiative) and instead sets goals for on-campus emission reductions.
Revised UC Green New Deal policy platform released.
UC Berkeley, Davis, and Santa Cruz release their decarbonization studies for public comment and Coalition-members coordinate feedback.

2024

UCGNDC presentation to the UC Regents calling for rapid implementation of decarbonization plans.
Establishment of “Fossil Free Degrees” campaign calling on the UC to cut all ties with the fossil fuel industry and fully dissociate from fossil fuels and petition launch.
Earth Day rallies coordinated across the UC campuses calling for fossil fuel dissociation.
Applying pressure on campuses to set strong emission reduction goals for 2030 and 2035 upon completion of the decarbonization studies.

Vision

Get the UC to commit to enacting major components of our UC GND (and formulating those policies into a UC Climate Action Plan) necessary to reach critical targets in line with the 1.5°C IPCC pathway projection. For the UC, this means raw emissions need to decline by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching carbon zero in all areas by 2050.

Each campus (including its satellite institutions), in partnership with the campus and local community, will need to draft its own Climate Action Plan (in line with the UC-wide GND-influenced Climate Action Plan), tailored to the specific needs of that campus to reach the aforementioned 2030 and 2050 targets above.

UC GNDC representation during the policy-drafting process will be critical to ensure the UC is collaborating in good faith with us to ensure the major measures of the UC GND Policy Platform make it into the UC’s Climate Action Plan.

After the UC releases the language of their Climate Action Plan, it will enter a review process where the UC’s proposed Climate Action Plan will be analyzed and critiqued in a public hearing and comment period to make sure it is: 1) bold enough to meet the IPCC’s 1.5°C emissions targets, 2) adequately addresses environmental justice concerns and meets the needs of vulnerable populations and affected communities to ensure equity, and 3) provides a just transition to workers in the fossil fuel industry.

UCOP, UC Regents, and Chancellors approve their Climate Action Plans and set them into motion with the UC GND Coalition represented at every level in the UC’s implementation efforts to make sure that the UC actually sticks to its commitments for once.

Periodic yearly reviews will track emissions progress made in key areas outlined in the UC and individual campus-level Climate Action Plans to course-correct if planned objectives are off track.