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In 2013, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which declares that all ten campuses in the University of California will have zero net emissions by the year 2025. Through a generous donation from the TomKat Foundation and supplemental funding from the University of California Office of the President, two groups of researchers have assembled to help address different facets of this multidimensional initiative. These two teams of the TomKat Project are hosted by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and supported by the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UCSB.
The Exit Strategies for Natural Gas working group is focusing on the challenge of eliminating natural gas emissions from the ten UC campuses and their medical centers. This is made difficult by the lock-in situation that exists at six campuses which rely on cogeneration power plants for heating and power. The Net-Zero Comm Strategy working group will work to develop and test best communication techniques for the University of California to achieve zero net emissions by 2025. This process will involve performing audience research on key stakeholders at the University of California, testing messages, and analyzing barriers to gaining support for the Carbon Neutrality Initiative.