Solar panel installation
UCI's participation in the U.S. Department of Energy's recent Solar Decathlon 2015 is just one example of how sustainability projects are incorporated into the curriculum. Steve Zylius / UCI

UCI was among more than 200 university and college campuses that signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge today at the White House to demonstrate support for strong climate action by world leaders. With less than two weeks until President Barack Obama attends the climate change conference in Paris, the U.S. administration is building momentum and ensuring that a variety of stakeholders are at the table. The pledge is part of that effort. Obama called UCI “ahead of the curve” in climate change research, energy efficiency and sustainability when he spoke at the 2014 commencement ceremony. “We have already taken significant action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase campus sustainability and resilience, and incorporate environmental action into the academic curriculum,” said Wendell Brase, co-chair of the University of California’s Global Climate Leadership Council and UCI vice chancellor for administrative and business services, who attended the signing on behalf of UC President Janet Napolitano. The day also included a White House summit with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and White House Council on Environmental Quality Managing Director Christy Goldfuss to highlight the climate work at universities, voice support for a strong agreement in Paris, and discuss future steps that leaders in higher education can take toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.