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    Students Host Clean Energy Celebration Calling on UC Santa Barbara to Commit to 100% Clean Energy by 2035

    CALPIRG Students at UCSB hosted a campus event as a part of the organization’s Statewide Celebration of Clean Energy in support of getting UC Santa Barbara to commit to 100% Clean Energy by 2035.

    The event featured speakers from the office of State Senator Monique Limon, the Associated Students Senate,  and CALPIRG Students, as well as a game and information station, to engage the student body to learn about UCSB’s LEED Certified buildings and existing renewable energy.

    “This week, students at every campus in the University of California are celebrating clean energy at their campuses with one simple message in mind: UC students support clean energy,” said Sierra Ferrante, a first year student at UCSB, in an address. “Today, our hope is that students will look and see what is possible, and that young people are capable of making the difference.”

    Geordie Scully, policy advisor for State Senator Monique Limón and a UCSB alum, also gave a statement. “When students speak, decision-makers listen,” she said. “Not only do we need great climate legislators like Senator Limon, but we also need non-profits and climate activists like [CALPIRG Students] to cross the finish line.”

    She also explained that Senator Limón is currently in Dubai representing the United States at the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (COP), the largest international climate summit. Limon was also coauthor on SB 1137 with Senator Gonzalez, which requires 3,200 foot setbacks between oil production and sensitive community receptors like schools, homes, hospitals, and daycares; however, the oil industry has since spent over 20 million dollars in lobbying to overturn the bill, which will now go to a referendum on the ballot this spring.

    Alvin Wang, a Senator for UCSB Associated Students (AS) Senate representing the College of Engineering, explained that the AS Senate is currently working on a Resolution in support of clean energy by 2035. Additionally, he spoke about both the urgency of climate change, and its increasing relevance in both local communities and all of California. “Even though it can be hard to contextualize climate change, … we have already seen how [it] has affected millions of people. From the devastating California wildfires, to the flooding of coastal cities due to sea levels rising, this is something that affects millions of people.”

    Lainie David from local solar company Sun Pacific contributed insight into the benefits of renewable solar power. In addition to being a good alternative to fossil fuels and not releasing harmful pollutants into the air or water, the environmental benefits are just some of the advantages. “Solar panels have a long lifespan, often lasting 25 years or more,” she explained in a written statement. “This longevity ensures a stable and reliable source of energy over an extended period.” 

    After the speakers finished, the event continued for several hours with a booth aimed to educate students about existing LEED certified buildings at their campus. LEED Certification is the world’s most widely used green building certification system, meant to assess buildings on their efficiency and overall impact to the environment. The event was held in front of UCSB’s Student Resource Building, which achieved LEED Platinum status in 2018. Behind it, there is a large parking structure whose roof has been transformed to house dozens of solar panels. 

    “If we follow in the footsteps of the many powerful climate leaders that came before us,” says Ferrante, “there is really no limit to what we can accomplish.”

    Press Release
    Press Release
    This is a press release sent to Goleta Voice for publication. Refer to the references in the article for more information.
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