UC Santa Cruz and other higher education institutions urge strong 2030 U.S. climate target

A group of colleges and universities across the United States sent a letter to the White House today calling on the Biden-Harris administration to adopt a target of at least 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. 

The 75 institutions, including UC Santa Cruz, that signed on to the letter span 29 different states, in all regions of the United States. The letter also represents a wide diversity of institution types, including large research universities, community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), tribal colleges, regional comprehensive universities, and liberal arts colleges and universities.

The Biden-Harris administration re-entered the Paris Agreement in February and needs to submit a carbon emission goal, known as a nationally determined contribution (NDC). The goal advocated for by higher education institutions would help put the United States on a viable path to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The letter commends the Biden-Harris administration for their leadership on, and commitment to, detering climate change and emphasizes the crucial need to address climate change now, while there is still time for the United States to act. Higher education institutions also shared their own commitment to advancing climate action. 

“Given the central role higher education plays in society, we affirm that solving global challenges, like the challenges posed by global climate change, is a key part of our educational missions,” the letter states. “Through our curriculum, research, and operations, we will continue to be engines of innovation driving climate solutions in this country, and around the world, in the years ahead.”

UC Santa Cruz was the first of 10 UC campuses to complete a comprehensive project study in 2017, the Climate & Energy Strategy, to assess readiness and opportunities in striving toward carbon neutrality. For more information on UC Santa Cruz’s climate and sustainability goals, please visit our Sustainability Office website.