Winter 2018
Member Profile

Julia Brown: Providing a Model for Action on Climate Change


UCS National Advisory Board member Julia Brown enjoyed a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry before turning her attention to climate change—and thinking seriously about how she could make a difference. After earning a master's degree in sustainability and environmental management from Harvard University, Brown was appointed to San Diego's Sustainable Energy Advisory Board. She now chairs the group, which is responsible for helping to implement San Diego's far-reaching Climate Action Plan, approved by the city council in 2015. Brown also serves on the board of Cleantech San Diego, and the Director’s Council at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

"San Diego is the largest US city to commit to 100 percent renewable energy for electricity production," Brown says. She notes that since 2010, San Diego's global warming emissions have been reduced by 19 percent, while the economy has grown by 30 percent. The city is ahead of the schedule laid out in its plan for emissions reductions.

Brown says that her service on the UCS National Advisory Board keeps her up to date with climate change–related legislation and policies at the federal and state level. And the connections she's made help keep her in the fight for sustainability.

"The things UCS cares about are exactly the things I care about," Brown says. "It motivates me to be part of a group with shared values. I can have a bigger impact by supporting a group like UCS."

Brown is enthusiastic about the potential for more US cities and towns to adopt their own climate plans. As she points out, more than 123,000 jobs will be created in San Diego through the implementation of its Climate Action Plan.

"We know that our progress won't move the needle on climate change globally," Brown says. "But we hope to be a model of successful implementation, so that other people will want to follow suit. We want to show that doing what's right for the environment can be good for the economy, and can create good jobs."