April 17, 2023
Dear Members of Our Campus Community,
In 2022, UC Santa Barbara’s total greenhouse gas emissions were 67% below our 1990 levels despite our enrollment and physical growth. Emissions reductions over this time period are primarily attributed to investments in energy efficiency as well as to strategic procurement of electricity generation from low-carbon sources. Today, 93% of UC Santa Barbara’s operational greenhouse gas emissions are a result of combustion of natural gas on campus for heating and cooling. Most UC locations are facing a similar challenge of reducing emissions from on-site fossil fuel use in support of the University’s carbon neutrality commitment.
To help our campuses meet this challenge, each UC location has received funding for decarbonization planning efforts. In addition to detailed infrastructure assessments, cost estimating, and scenario analysis, decarbonization efforts must also evaluate environmental and climate justice implications of moving from a fossil fuel-based heating and power generation infrastructure to use of electricity for equivalent services. UC Santa Barbara has been provided with an allocation of $1 million to commence this planning effort.
Following campus consultation, I am pleased to announce the formation of the Decarbonization Study Project Committee to help our campus with these efforts. The committee membership is listed below. My sincere thanks to Professor Susannah Scott and AVC Renée Bahl for serving as co-chairs of this committee, and thank you to all members of the committee for their time and expertise.
Henry T. Yang
State-Funded Decarbonization Study Project Committee
Susannah Scott, Co-chair; Chair, Academic Senate; Distinguished Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Renée Bahl, Co-Chair; Co-Chair, Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee; Associate Vice Chancellor, Design, Facilities & Safety Services
Kum-Kum Bhavnani, Distinguished Professor, Sociology; UC Fossil Free Task Force; Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement
Eric Masanet, Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
Jim Rawlings, Professor, Chemical Engineering; Chair, Academic Senate Council on Planning and Budget
Josh Rohmer, Director, Capital & Physical Planning
Jordan Sager, Campus Energy Manager and Assistant Director, Design, Facilities & Safety Services
TBD, Associated Students representative
TBD, Graduate Student Association representative