Colin Mickle

CNI Fellow - Class of 2015

Graduate Student, Climate and Energy Policy
UC Davis


Quality Carbon: Investigating the Potential for Localized Carbon Offsets for the University of California


The Carbon Neutrality Initiative commits UC to zero carbon emissions by 2025. While UC campuses are implementing energy efficiency projects and looking to increase the percentage of renewable energy in their electricity portfolios, a zero-net-carbon goal for scopes 1 and 2 also will require the purchase of carbon offsets. Therefore, this project aims to determine if UC can purchase “local offsets” that support individual campuses by localizing funds to each campus specifically or the regional economy at large. Or, if such an administrative structure could not yield high-quality offsets, this research looks to answer what process of evaluation UC should deploy to decide what offsets to buy.


  • Inform UC decision-makers on carbon offsets.
  • Ensure quality carbon offset purchases by UC.
  • Increase transparency and awareness of UC carbon offset involvement.

Future Plans

Transform research project into master's thesis.


Camille Kirk