UCLA School of Law professor Ann Carlson has received the University of California’s 2017 Sustainability Champion award for her research, teaching and public service in environmental law, and her work in support of the UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative.

The award is California’s only individual honor recognizing sustainability leadership in higher education.  Nominees are from the state’s public and private colleges and universities.

Carlson received the honor on June 27 at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in Santa Barbara.

The award was presented by David Phillips, the UC’s associate vice president for energy and sustainability, who cited Carlson’s membership on the Global Climate Leadership Council, a task force created by University of California President Janet Napolitano to help the UC system achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2025, and her role as chair of the UC Carbon Neutrality Financial Management Taskforce. The task force is focused on overcoming organizational, financial and communication obstacles to implementing UC’s 2025 goal.

“Ann knows full well how hard it will be to achieve this ambitious goal. She has been concerned, but not discouraged,” Phillips said. “Leaders like Ann make me confident that we as a society can tackle the wicked problem of climate change, and that we as universities can show the rest of the world how to do it.”

Carlson, one of the nation’s most esteemed environmental scholars, is the Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law and faculty co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA Law. Her work includes the leading casebook “Environmental Law,” with Dan Farber, and law review articles that have been selected as among the best in their field. She is widely cited by major media organizations and by environmental leaders throughout academia and government.

She is also a member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, serves on a panel examining the nation’s energy systems for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has won three teaching awards at UCLA.

“The Sustainability Champion award is really in recognition of the extraordinary team I’ve been working with — staff, faculty, administrators and students from throughout the UC system — toward UC’s carbon neutrality goal,” Carlson said. “Reducing our emissions to zero will require engaging all of the system’s stakeholders in increasing energy efficiency, building zero-carbon buildings, switching to renewable sources of energy and creating revenue streams from energy savings to finance additional carbon reductions. Our team has done an incredible job in showing how the UC system can achieve carbon neutrality and serve as a model to the rest of the world in the fight against climate change.”