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David Victor of UC San Diego to Co-Chair Climate Action Commission

A New Initiative of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Will Help Drive Bold Climate Solutions

Photo of David G. Victor
Photo by Erik Jepsen/University Communications


  • Emerson Dameron

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  • Emerson Dameron

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SAN DIEGO, CA – David G. Victor of the University of California San Diego will bring his years of leadership experience to a new initiative from The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Commission on Accelerating Climate Action.

The commission is a nonpartisan, multidisciplinary, multiyear project that will focus on identifying barriers to climate action and recommending how the United States can accelerate climate mitigation and adaptation for all Americans.

David Victor is the co-director of the Deep Decarbonization Initiative and professor of Innovation and Public Policy at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of UC San Diego. He will serve as one of the commission’s four co-chairs.

“At the Deep Decarbonization Initiative, we are focused on producing scholarship at the intersection of science, technology and policy,” said Victor. “Our work focuses on grand challenges in the transformation of energy systems, from decarbonization of the electrical grid to transportation systems and delivering energy for all. The Academy’s new commission is a natural tie-in to the research happening here at UC San Diego.”

With the goal of developing a shared understanding of climate change issues facing people nationwide, Victor and his fellow co-chairs – Christopher Field (Perry L. McCarty Director, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University), Catherine Coleman Flowers (Founder, The Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice and Rural Development Manager, The Equal Justice Initiative) and Patricia Vincent-Collawn (Chairman, President and CEO, PNM Resources, Inc.) – are engaging a diverse group of leaders who recognize the urgency of the situation and the importance of developing an inclusive approach to accelerating action. More than a dozen experts, from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, have already agreed to participate.

Victor added that the commission will publish its recommendations and actions in a policy report made available to the public.

The Commission on Accelerating Climate Action is an extension of a statement issued by the Board of the Academy, attesting to the reality and urgency of climate change and committing the Academy to confront this existential threat. From the statement: “All of us – scientists, engineers, humanists, lawyers, social scientists, educators, artists and individuals from the private sector and government – must work together to limit and respond to climate change. In these efforts, we need to collaborate with national and international companies, organizations and institutions.”

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is both a membership society that honors excellence and a nonpartisan research organization engaging leaders from across disciplines, professions and perspectives to work on pressing issues.

The Deep Decarbonization Initiative is a combined effort of faculty across UC San Diego working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. It is focused on helping the world cut emissions of warming gases given the very real technology, economic and political constraints that exist. The initiative was founded in partnership by UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering and School of Global Policy and Strategy. More information can be found at

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