Climate Action Course Final Report
By committing UC Berkeley to the goal of returning to 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2014, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau further cemented UC Berkeley’s reputation for leadership on issues of campus sustainability. Although the goal is laudable and the supporting research was groundbreaking, questions remain about how best to achieve the 2014 goals. In fact, the process of goal setting itself has revealed many of these questions. There are several possible approaches, each with its own costs, benefits, and risk profile. For example, some ideas and opportunities for projects have benefits for the campus and environment that extend well beyond carbon mitigation, while other projects and offset programs focus narrowly on CO2 mitigation. Even the calculations of emissions and the measurement of mitigation have been shown to be more complex and subtle than they originally appeared. In the end, all of these issues must be considered with the knowledge that the cost and feasibility of more ambitious goals (post 2014), including climate neutrality, will likely be influenced by actions taken now...