We have attained important data from the UC system via freedom of information public record requests. We share those data here in the spirit of transparency. The data provide some information about who is making decisions. They also show that smokestack emissions for the campuses have, in some cases, increased. They also clarify the nature of the biomethane and offsets projects that the UC is relying on instead of Getting Off The Fracked Methane Gas.
- Who makes the decisions? One kind of decision about UC climate policy is apparently made by a body called the UC Sustainability Steering Committee . For example, late last year we believe it voted to continue with the offsets program.
2. What are the actual emissions from the campuses? An absolutely critical issue is what are the smokestack emissions from the 10 campuses, i.e. how much Carbon Dioxide is being released from burning fracked methane (Scope 1 emissions). This document shows the raw numbers before various sorts of “offsets” are applied. And also, it shows the Scope 3 emissions, campus transportation and business aviation.
3. What about the biomethane? A major component of carbon neutrality is that the campuses continue to burn fracked methane while they purchase biomethane credits elsewhere. The largest such purchases are in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. And these are only coming ‘online’ in 2025 or later. The campuses also purchase some solar electricity directly.
4. Cap and Trade. Since most of the campuses emit over 25,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide they are obligated to participate in California’s Cap-And-Trade project. Part of that is to buy offsets. You can see the offsets here. It will be interesting to investigate if the “US Forest Projects” are still intact after huge forest fires.
5. Specific campus offsets. UCLA 2014-2016. UCLA bought several hundred thousand tonnes worth of offsets in other states, such as Oklahoma, and Nebraska, which are for combusting methane from landfills.
6. Specific Camus offsets. UCLA 2017-2019. Same as above.
7. Specific campus offsets. UC Merced 2018 and 2019. These are for combustion of landfill methane in North Carolina and Oklahoma.