Leading on Climate

The University of California is at the forefront of understanding the climate crisis and implementing practical solutions to build a more equitable, resilient and healthy world.

The Leading on Climate Program builds on the University’s longstanding commitment to sustainability and reflects the overwhelming urgency and ever-increasing impacts of the climate crisis. The President’s Global Climate Leadership Council provides oversight of this Program.

The University of California’s Climate Action goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions build on the successes of the 2013 Carbon Neutrality Initiative (CNI). More information on campus and system level progress can be found in the most recent UC Annual Sustainability Report.

The GCLC has secured funding for and supported implementation of a number of climate action projects in support of this initiative and spanning the University’s teaching, research and public service mission. The Bending the Curve curriculum, Climate Action Student Fellowships Program, Cool Campus Challenge, UC Center for Climate Justice, UC Center for Climate Health and Equity, the UC-CSU Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Projects and the Community-Academic Partnerships for Equity-Focused Climate Action are just a handful of the many projects that have been seeded or funded through this initiative.

Key strategies include efforts to advance fossil fuel free planning, including UC’s persistent gains in energy efficiency, investments in renewable energy projects across the system, and developing strategies to replace natural gas.

Learn more about how people think and act on climate by watching the UC-Vox "Climate Lab" series and follow @ClimateUC on Twitter for the latest UC research and news on climate and sustainability.

Pathways to Fossil Free UC Task Force

President Drake convened the Pathways to Fossil Free UC Task Force under the UC Global Climate Leadership Council in 2022 to address the campus decarbonization challenge and respond to the Academic Senate Memorial to the Regents on Reducing Fossil Fuel Combustion. Building upon the Carbon Neutrality Initiative’s years of progress, the task force will propose recommendations to accelerate the path to decarbonizing UC campus energy infrastructure.

Global Food Initiative

The University of California Global Food Initiative (GFI) addresses one of the critical issues of our time: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach 8 billion by 2025.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative

As a cutting edge for research and innovation, the University of California brings sustainable technology from laboratory to market through its entrepreneurship programs. In addition to breakthroughs by its world class faculty, UC offers Cleantech to Market, a graduate level program that develops innovative cleantech leaders and entrepreneurs. From wave energy capture projects to biofuel innovations, UC student researchers are leading the way to a sustainable future. Read more about UC innovation and entrepreneurship in the annual UC Technology Commercialization Report.


Global Climate Leadership Council

Formed in 2014 to advise UC on achieving its ambitious climate action targets while providing guidance on other longstanding sustainability goals.