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Welcome to The UC Climate Solutions Channel.



The University of California is a national leader in climate science research and identifying best practices for achieving sustainability and mitigating the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

As presented in Bending the Curve, compiled by 50 of the top climate experts in the UC system, the University of California has identified 10 scalable solutions for moving the world toward carbon neutrality.

The UC has set its own goal of becoming carbon neutral on all 10 campuses and national labs of the University of California by 2025.

Watch our progress here on The UC Climate Solutions Channel.
The 10 Scalable Solutions
Science

1. Bend the warming curve immediately by reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and sustainably by replacing current fossil-fueled energy systems with carbon neutral technologies. Achieve the SLCP reduction targets prescribed in solution #9 by 2030 to cut projected warming by approximately 50 percent by 2050. To limit long-term global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius, cumulative emissions from now to 2050 must be less than 1 trillion tons and approach zero emissions post-2050. Solutions #7 to #9 cover technological solutions to accomplish these targets.

Societal transformation

2. Foster a global culture of climate action through coordinated public communication and education at local to global scales. Combine technology and policy solutions with innovative approaches to changing social attitudes and behavior.

3. Deepen the global culture of climate collaboration by designing venues where stakeholders, community and religious leaders converge around concrete problems with researchers and scholars from all academic disciplines, with the overall goal of initiating collaborative actions to mitigate climate disruption.

Governance

4. Scale up subnational models of governance and collaboration around the world to embolden and energize national and international action. Use the California examples to help other state- and city-level jurisdictions become living laboratories for renewable technologies and for regulatory as well as market-based solutions, and build cross-sector collaborations among urban stakeholders because creating sustainable cities is a key to global change.

Market- and regulations-based

5. Adopt market-based instruments to create efficient incentives for businesses and individuals to reduce CO2 emissions. These can include cap and trade or carbon pricing and should employ mechanisms to contain costs. Adopt the high quality emissions inventories, monitoring and enforcement mechanisms necessary to make these approaches work. In settings where these institutions do not credibly exist, alternative approaches such as direct regulation may be the better approach — although often at higher cost than market-based systems.

6. Narrowly target direct regulatory measures — such as rebates and efficiency and renewable energy portfolio standards — at high emissions sectors not covered by market-based policies. Create powerful incentives that continually reward improvements to bring down emissions while building political coalitions in favor of climate policy. Terminate subsidies that encourage emission-intensive activities. Expand subsidies that encourage innovation in low emission technologies.

Technology

7. Promote immediate widespread use of mature technologies such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric light-duty vehicles, and more efficient end-use devices, especially in lighting, air conditioning, appliances and industrial processes. These technologies will have even greater impact if they are the target of market-based or direct regulatory solutions such as those described in solutions #5 and #6, and have the potential to achieve 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in fossil fuel CO2 emissions by 2030.

8. Aggressively support and promote innovations to accelerate the complete electrification of energy and transportation systems and improve building efficiency. Support development of lower-cost energy storage for applications in transportation, resilient large-scale and distributed micro-scale grids, and residential uses. Support development of new energy storage technologies, including batteries, super-capacitors, compressed air, hydrogen and thermal storage, as well as advances in heat pumps, efficient lighting, fuel cells, smart buildings and systems integration. These innovative technologies are essential for meeting the target of 80 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.

9. Immediately make maximum use of available technologies combined with regulations to reduce methane emissions by 50 percent and black carbon emissions by 90 percent. Phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 2030 by amending the Montreal Protocol. In addition to the climate and health benefits described under solution #1, this solution will provide access to clean cooking for the poorest 3 billion people who spend hours each day collecting solid biomass fuels and burning them indoors for cooking.

10. Regenerate damaged natural ecosystems and restore soil organic carbon to improve natural sinks for carbon (through afforestation, reducing deforestation and restoration of soil organic carbon). Implement food waste reduction programs and energy recovery systems to maximize utilization of food produced and recover energy from food that is not consumed. Global deployment of these measures has the potential to reduce 20 percent of the current 50 billion tons of emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases and, in addition, meet the recently approved sustainable development goals by creating wealth for the poorest 3 billion.