Climate summit puts California, UC in the spotlight
If the federal government won’t lead on climate change, then California will. That’s the subtext as thousands of leaders from around the world arrive in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit on Sept. 12–14.
Organized by California Gov. Jerry Brown and co-chaired by climate leaders from the United Nations, China and India, the three-day event is intended to highlight efforts around the world to address climate change and to build support for even deeper commitments ahead of COP24, the U.N Climate Conference scheduled later this year in Poland.
The U.S. formally withdrew from the Paris climate accord last summer, but plenty of cities, states, universities and Fortune 500 companies aren’t backing down, as evidenced by the long list of summit attendees. Participants include former Secretary of State John Kerry, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson, anthropologist Jane Goodall and dozens of other government officials, industry leaders, scientists and educators.
The University of California will be amply represented, as well. UC President Janet Napolitano — who has made climate neutrality a top priority for the 10-campus university system — will speak at several summit events, focusing on the unique role that research universities are playing in combatting climate change. She will also detail the operational efforts underway across UC that aim to achieve climate neutrality, including the recent announcement that 100 percent of UC’s electricity will come from renewable or zero-carbon sources by 2025.