The vote caps off a yearlong campaign by U.C. students across the state, with help from Greenpeace. Since last September, students and faculty have sent more than 10,000 postcards to the university in support of the campaign.
“This victory for the environment is the product of collaboration between students, faculty, administrators, regents, and Greenpeace,” explained Kristin Casper, a campaigner with Greenpeace. “The University of California’s leadership will pave the way for campuses across the U.S. toward a clean, sustainable future. Now there is a clear road map for others to follow.”
The new U.C. policy mandates:
- Ten megawatts (equivalent to the power used by 5,000 homes) of renewable energy be installed across the ten campuses (currently only 40 MW of solar energy are grid-connected in California -- and only 52 MW total in the U.S.).
- That 10% of the university’s current energy come from clean sources -- ramping up to 20% by 2017.
- A systemwide reduction of energy use to 10% below 2000 levels by 2014.
- All new campus buildings (except acute-care facilities) across the state be built to green-building standards.
Following the University of California’s lead, students on more than 50 campuses across the country are expected to launch clean-energy campaigns this fall. The Greenpeace report shows that if every U.S. college campus were to match the U.C. policy, the total grid-connected solar installations in the U.S. would increase more than 50-fold.