UC’s climate vow

For information about the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, go to www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org.

Rare are the occasions when words of praise for the University of California and UC Davis flow on these editorial pages. (You know, spare the rod, spoil the child, so to speak.) But something occurred three weeks ago that deserves highlighting and demands attention from us all.

On March 8, the University of California Council of Chancellors, composed of the heads of all 10 UC campuses, and the president of the University of California system, Robert C. Dynes, officially signed onto the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment to make their campuses carbon neutral. What this means is that the UC system, with its 10 campuses, is taking the lead in combating climate change by committing to achieving zero carbon-dioxide emissions from their operations. This includes creating offsets for those emissions that can’t be entirely eliminated.

More than just an empty policy pronouncement, the Presidents Climate Commitment involves a series of timetables for reaching this goal, the most significant being within the next two years developing a specific action plan.

The UC system and its campuses should be applauded loudly for their resolve on this issue. More than that, entire campuses, from administrators to faculty to students to non-academic employees, should become engaged in actively creating the plan and reaching the goal. A community like ours in which a UC campus resides should serve as a watchdog to make certain that UC Davis, with its annual output of 228,893 metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions, responsibly follows through.

Beyond that, all other area campuses should be inspired to find ways to follow their example and sign the Presidents Climate Commitment.