UC-initiated offsets

UC released a request for ideas for UC-initiated offset projects in March 2019. The goal was to build a portfolio of potential offset projects initiated by UC faculty, students, staff, and researchers, and explore the viability of supporting those and similar projects with offset payments for GHG emission reductions achieved.  

UC chose twelve projects for pilot awards. With these awards each team is tasked to bringing each project idea closer to implementation as a full-scale UC-initiated offset project that will result in emissions reductions or removals that UC campuses can use towards their carbon neutrality commitments. 

As the pilot projects progress, we will continue to update each project page with project updates, and project documents including project design documents, emissions reduction calculations, monitoring reports, and the results of independent verification and peer review.  



♦ Rwanda ♦ Clean Cookstoves

Adopt-a-Cookstove supplies rural households with high-efficiency wood pellet-gasifier cookstoves, substantially reducing GHG emissions and indoor air pollution from traditional cookstoves.

Berkeley-Darfur Stoves

♦ Uganda ♦ Clean Cookstoves

Potential Energy manufactures and distributes the Berkeley-Darfur Stove, developed by the researchers at UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. The stove uses 66% less firewood and emits 77% less emissions , reducing the time families must spend collecting firewood or expenses to buy firewood, and decreasing carbon emissions.

Climate and Conservation

♦ Tanzania ♦ Clean Cookstoves, Tree Planting, & Climate-smart Agriculture 

This offset project will support the work of Pathfinder International, The Nature Conservancy, and the local district and village governments of Uvinza District, Western Tanzania in building energy efficient cookstoves for palm oil production, establishing fruit tree nurseries, and providing trainings on climate-smart agriculture. 

The Ebony Project

♦ Cameroon ♦ Reforestation

The Ebony Project is a partnership where business, communities, and researchers work together to protect a valuable timber species, reforest degraded land, address local food security issues, and improve rural livelihoods in Cameroon.

Mexico Forest Restoration

♦ Mexico ♦ Reforestation 

This pilot project works with landowners and communities in Querétaro, Mexico to support the reforestation of degraded lands and the development of an offset protocol for the University of California.

Kawsay Ñampi (Way of Life)

♦ Ecuador ♦ Forest Conservation

In collaboration with a Kichwa community in the Ecuadorian Amazon, we are developing an innovative Indigenous-led climate change mitigation project, called Kawsay Ñampi (Way of Life), that promotes Indigenous forest governance and land use practices associated with the long-term sustainability of the culturally biodiverse ecosystems on the community’s territory.

Unite to Light

♦ Tanzania ♦ Solar Lighting

This project supports the work of Unite to Light, a nonprofit that originated at UC Santa Barbara, to expand the availability of affordable solar lights in Tanzania, reducing emissions by replacing kerosene with solar, and providing health and economic benefits to those who switch. 



♦ California ♦ CO2-Absorbing Concrete

The CO2Concrete process directly converts carbon dioxide from power plants or other emitters into precast concrete and concrete masonry products (such as blocks and beams) that can be used for construction worldwide. 

Production of Red Seaweed to Mitigate Methane Emissions in California Livestock

♦ California ♦ Livestock Emissions 

This project explores the production of a red seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) to be used as a feed supplement to reduce methane emissions from enteric fermentation in livestock.

Midseason Drainage of Flooded California Rice Fields

♦ California ♦ Rice Emissions

We are studying the reduction in GHG emissions, particularly CH4, from midseason drainage of flooded rice fields. Based on our results, we will promote adoption of this practice as a GHG mitigation strategy for California rice farmers.

Development of Local Biochar Network

♦ California ♦ Biochar 

UCANR’s Hopland Research Extension Center has implemented equipment to gasify dead wood from the 2017 Redwoods fire. This gasification reduces fire risk, generates electricity and steam, and produces biochar that can be applied to agricultural lands for nutrients and carbon sequestration. The seed award will be used to develop a network of local biochar buyers, which so far has been a key barrier to the wider implementation of gasifier technology.

Working Lands Innovation Center

♦ California ♦ Compost, Biochar, & Rock Soil Amendments

The Working Lands Innovation Center (WLIC), launched in partnership with the California Collaborative for Climate Change Solutions (C4S), is a new, multi-stakeholder consortium focused on testing the carbon and crop benefits of soil amendments in CA’s agricultural lands. 

UC Pilot Offsets

Learn more about UC's process of soliciting and evaluating University-initiated offset projects and the future direction of this program.