Petition: The selection of the new UC President must include a climate crisis focus

Anne Shaw
Secretary and Chief of Staff to the Regents
1111 Franklin Street, 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607

To the University of California Board of Regents Special Committee to select a president, Regent Gareth Elliott (chair), and Regent Sherry Lansing (vice chair):

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, backed by all governments, has called for “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 to have a decent chance to limit global heating to the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius [1].

On December 2nd 2019, the UC academic council endorsed a set of principles [2] for the ‘climate change challenge’, and UC President Janet Napolitano promptly offered her support [3], reiterating her earlier commitment to a climate emergency declaration, signed by all 10 chancellors in 2019 [4].

While the UC has committed to being “carbon neutral” by 2025 [5], there are major shortcomings in this plan, including an apparent lack of accountability [6], a problematic reliance on both dubious offset mechanisms [7][8] and biogas (about which experts have misgivings [9]), and a delayed reckoning with “scope 3” aviation and transportation emissions (deferred to a distant 2050) [10]. The next UC president must quickly put resources and accountability mechanisms into a bonafide emissions reduction (decarbonization) plan, and reorient the teaching and research mission of all 10 campuses to adequately meet the climate crisis. However, the 24-point criteria [11] for the current search for a new UC president make no mention of the climate crisis at all.

Given the above, we, the undersigned UC community members and organizations, ask that:
1. The criteria for the search be amended to include climate change criteria such as “demonstrated experience in greenhouse gas emissions regulation at a large institution,” “demonstrated commitment to climate justice,” and "demonstrated commitment to decarbonization;"
2. Selected finalists for the position be required to submit a vision statement outlining their proposed plans to make the UC system a world leader in rapid institutional decarbonization; and
3. The UC’s response to the climate crisis be a major consideration for the job search, and be substantively discussed in upcoming campus town-halls and Board of Regents meetings.

As the largest employer in the 5th-largest economy in the world, the UC bears a tremendous responsibility to address the climate crisis, the defining global challenge of our time. UC staff, students, postdocs, researchers, and faculty are united in asking that the criteria and process for selection of the next UC president reflect that responsibility.

Signed,

1. Green New Deal at UCSD movement
2. UCSD Graduate Student Association Climate Action and Policy Committee
3. Environmental and Climate Justice Hub, UCSB
4. Center for Built Environment - Berkeley
5. UCSF Department of Psychiatry Climate Change and Mental Health Task Force
6. Students for Conservation - UCSD
7. Sunrise Movement Chapter - Davis
8. UCSF Human Health and Climate Change Student Organization
9. Sunrise Movement Chapter - Berkeley
10. UCAFT Local 2034
11. Climate Reality Project Campus Corps at UC Davis
12. Engineers for a sustainable world - Berkeley
13. Fossil Free Cal
14. Sunrise Movement chapter - UCSB
15. Cal Berkeley Democrats
16. Energy and Resources Group - Berkeley
17. Sustainable Power and Energy Center - UCSD
18. UPTE-CWA 9119 - Union
19. Ecology Grad Student Association - UC Davis
20. Science Studies Program - UCSD
21. UC Berkeley Surfrider Foundation Club
22. Berkeley Energy and Resource Collaborative (BERC)
23. UC Santa Cruz Student Environmental Center
24. Center for Diverse Leadership in Science, UCLA
25. Center for Creative Ecologies, UCSC
26. UCSC Enviroslug
27. Herbicide Free Cal
28. Ecology Grad Student Association - UC Davis
29. Ocean Society of Berkeley
30. Environmental Affairs Board at UCSB
31. UCSC Environmental Studies Department Faculty
32. Students of Berkeley on Ecosia
33. SWC EARTH at UCLA
34. Bicycle Coalition at UCLA
35. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (managed by UCSB)
36. Right Livelihood College at UC Santa Cruz

And over 2300 individuals ...

Please sign below as an INDIVIDUAL or ORGANIZATION
PLEASE EMAIL THE LINK TO 20 PEOPLE YOU KNOW! Deadline is January 22nd.
See all other signees here: https://tinyurl.com/uqvvf6b [Over 2000 have signed!]
Updated January 21st 2020, 8.03pm

[1] https://www.ipcc.ch/2018/10/08/summary-for-policymakers-of-ipcc-special-report-on-global-warming-of-1-5c-approved-by-governments/
[2]https://senate.universityofcalifornia.edu/_files/reports/kkb-jn-climate-change-principles.pdf
[3] https://senate.universityofcalifornia.edu/_files/reports/jn-to-bhavnani-climate-12-13-2019.pdf
[4] https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/university-california-declares-climate-emergency
[5] https://ucop.edu/carbon-neutrality-initiative/index.html
[6] https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/story/2019-12-18/university-california-ucsd-climate-goals-just-hot-air
[7] https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614216/whoops-californias-carbon-offsets-program-could-extend-the-life-of-coal-mines/
[8] https://features.propublica.org/brazil-carbon-offsets/inconvenient-truth-carbon-credits-dont-work-deforestation-redd-acre-cambodia/
[9] https://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/files/research/projects/UC-TomKat-Replacing-Natural-Gas-Report_2018.pdf
[10] https://www.ucop.edu/sustainability/policy-areas/climate-change-and-clean-energy/index.html
[11] https://presidentialsearch.universityofcalifornia.edu/_files/documents/final_2019_criteria.pdf

* For information about this petition email: info.ucop.petition@gmail.com *
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