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Leading by Example

As an institution, we do our part to combat climate change. We put our research to real-world use through our sustainability initiatives and support of the broader University of California's carbon neutrality goals. Each year, we lead a cohort to the COP convention and our student body deeply engages in climate change action.

UC San Diego Strategic Plan: Understanding and Protecting the Planet

Undergirding one of four grand interdisciplinary research themes outlined in our strategic plan, researchers, faculty, students and administration work to explain and effectively communicate environmental change, create and implement viable solutions that will enhance society's resilience and recommend necessary policy changes and assess their economic impact.

UC San Diego Strategic Plan

Photo of Scripps research ship in the arctic.
Photo of solar panel grid at UC San Diego.

UC San Diego Sustainability

We practice sustainability in 10 key areas: climate protection, clean energy, green building, transportation, sustainable operations, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable procurement, sustainable food service, sustainable water systems and standards for UC Health.

Sustainability Commitments

University of California Carbon Neutrality Initiative

The University of California has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025, becoming the first major university to accomplish this achievement. The initiative builds on UC's pioneering work on climate research and furthers its leadership in sustainable business practices. UC is improving its energy efficiency, developing new renewable energy sources and enacting related strategies to cut carbon emissions.

Carbon Neutrality Initiative

Photo of UC San Diego Carbon Neutrality vehicle fleet.
Photo of UC contingent at COP conference.

University of California at COP

Founded in 2000, this organization fosters interaction among scientists, social scientists, and government negotiation parties to help shape international climate change policy. This group also coordinates COP delegations, an opportunity open to students, researchers, administrators and faculty members from all University of California campuses.

University of California at COP

Student-Led Climate Action

UC San Diego offers a vibrant student life and these groups provide opportunities to take action on climate change, from building a solar-powered car to planting gardens.

CALPIRG Students

We believe in the power of students to change our world. Our organizers and students work together to create a greener, healthier, more meaningful future -- on campus, in our community and across our state and country. We have a twofold mission to win positive reforms on issues affecting us and our society and train students to be engaged in civics and democracy.

Connect with CALPIRG Students

Chem-E-Car Project

Chem-E-Car Project, centered within the Department of NanoEngineering, aims to provide chemical engineering students with the opportunity to participate in a team-oriented hands-on design and construction of a small chemical-powered model car. In addition, it helps increase awareness of the chemical engineering discipline among the general public, industry leaders, educators and other students.

Connect with the Chem-E-Car Project

Climate Reality Campus Corps: University of California, San Diego Chapter

The Climate Reality Project Campus Corps brings students together to organize their campus community to become 100 percent committed to renewable energy and ending the climate crisis. From the campus to the community and beyond, the project aims to create a new generation of student activists with the tools and training to win, proving that 100 percent renewable energy is possible for communities around the globe.

Connect with the Climate Reality Campus Corps


delivAERO designs, tests and manufactures autonomous delivery aircraft and renewable-powered charging stations. Aircraft perform delivery services for packages of manageable size, and charging stations are wind and solar-powered, designed to support battery swap. The group aims to provide fast, automated and clean package delivery for customers.

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Engineers for a Sustainable World

Engineers for a Sustainable World envisions a worldwide era of sustainability in which all communities cooperate to achieve lasting environmental, social and economic prosperity. They bring communities together to develop, implement and share sustainable technologies and practices worldwide.

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Engineers Without Borders

We recognize climate change as one of the greatest threats to the future quality of life on this planet, the consequences of which often disproportionately affect those in developing countries who contribute the most negligible share of pollution. Therefore, environmental sustainability is crucial in all of our project decisions. Furthermore, as a preprofessional student organization, we foster our members’ growth by providing real-life project experience, technical skills and international mindset to become impactful global citizens after their time at UC San Diego.

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Energy Club

The Energy Club aims to create a community for graduate students interested in energy at UC San Diego. We are an inclusive group that seeks to foster connections across different departments, from policy to engineering. Our events promote a diverse range of interests through meetings with industrial companies, seminars on graduate student research, discussions about current events and fun social events. The club is open to the entire UC San Diego graduate community, and many have benefited from the support of the Jacobs Graduate Student Council and the Graduate Student Association.

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Graduate Student Association, Climate Action and Policy Committee

UC San Diego graduate students across disciplines come together to strategically pressure the administration to achieve ambitious goals like the complete decarbonization of campus operations as quickly as possible.

Connect with the Climate Action and Policy Committee

Green New Deal at UCSD

The Green New Deal advocates for climate action and organizes students and the campus community mainly focused on changes at UC San Diego. The Green New Deal advocates for the university to teach students about the climate crisis and climate justice, specify carbon-neutral goals, meet them by 2025 and build a UC-wide Green New Deal.

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Grow @ UCSD is a coalition of community gardens on the UC San Diego campus and provides a forum to support collaboration among student gardens.

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Inter-Sustainability Council

The Inter-Sustainability Council aims to unite the various organizations and departments of UC San Diego that promote sustainable development into a cohesive network. To that end, the group functions as an intermediary to improve coordination and outreach between these various organizations and the UC San Diego community.

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Net Impact Rady

Net Impact Rady inspires, educates and empowers students to leverage quantitative and qualitative methods in business to promote social impact and sustainability. We are a nonprofit student-run club that incorporates social responsibility and environmental sustainability into the school’s curriculum and programs. We also look to provide consulting services to our local San Diego community.

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Rogers Community Garden

Roger's Community Garden is a place for students, staff and San Diego community members to engage in various gardening and sustainability activities. We produce food for UC San Diego, the greater San Diego community and the Triton Food Pantry. In addition, we develop UC San Diego students’ ideas for innovative sustainability projects to reduce our carbon footprint.

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Solar Car Team

The Solar Car Team attracts diverse students from various engineering and non-engineering backgrounds. Participating in this project gives students the opportunity to gain hands-­on experience with different fields of engineering, including mechanical, engineering, aerospace and design. In addition, team members gain experience in business, operations and project management. Students in Triton Solar Car benefit from real-world experience and operate in an environment that prepares them for their careers. They set deadlines, manage budgets, create designs and perform reviews while doing their best to control unforeseen variables.

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Student Sustainability Collective

The Student Sustainability Collective (SSC) is a passionate group of student leaders dedicated to promoting sustainable policies, education for students and social justice dialogue on our campus.

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Sustainability Ambassadors Program

The Sustainability Ambassador Program offers undergraduate students an opportunity to become volunteer educators of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative and sustainability for the UC San Diego community. The program equips student educators with the best practices for connecting with the student population. Ambassadors coordinate educational peer workshops, programming efforts and presentations. They aim to empower students to make more environmentally conscious choices and understand environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Connect with the Sustainability Ambassadors Program

Sustainable Investment Group

The UC San Diego Sustainable Investment Group is a student-run growth investment organization that invests money in companies in industry subsectors conducive to sustainability to achieve high returns. It also prepares students for a career in the climate sector through guest speakers and networking opportunities.

Connect with the Sustainable Investment Group

The Climate Change Review

We are a student-led publication at UC San Diego dedicated to climate change. Since the fall of 2020, we have been reaching across disciplines to provide our unique takes on the climate crisis and how to talk about, think about, mitigate, adapt and communicate it. We meet once every two weeks to produce content and discuss solutions for the dilemmas of the Anthropocene.

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Voiz at UCSD

The purpose of Voiz at UCSD is to accelerate Sustainable Development Goal 12 titled "responsible consumption and production,” one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations in 2015. Voiz supports this SDG by promoting conscious consumerism while acknowledging it is not entirely the consumers’ responsibility. In addition, Voiz aims to hold corporations accountable and educate consumers through our reviews to encourage environmental advocacy.

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Support Climate Change Research

Bending the Curve

We want to educate one million climate change warriors through Bending the Curve, a multifaceted education project.

Give Now

Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

Help build a more resilient future through climate science, academic-community partnerships and adaptation strategies.

Give Now

Deep Decarbonization Initiative Fund

Support our efforts to guide a global economic transition toward net-zero carbon emissions.

Give Now