Climate Smart San José is among the first municipal climate plans to outline a “Path to Paris”
San Jose, Calif. – This morning, the City of San José leaders unveiled Climate Smart San Jose: one of the first municipal climate plans that outlines a path to achieving the Paris Agreement’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
“While our White House’s current occupant abdicates his global environment responsibilities, San José increasingly emerges as a national model for cities seeking a sustainable future,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Climate Smart San Jose will engage our entire community in the sustainability effort, with a particular emphasis on broadening the benefits of the green dividend for our most vulnerable residents.”
The Climate Smart San Jose plan continues building upon San Jose’s longstanding leadership in sustainability. Just last year, the San Jose metro area was named the top U.S. metro in meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals.
With this plan, the City of San Jose is employing a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach that includes several key strategies and bold campaigns designed to meets its ambitious sustainability goals. In particular, the plan prioritizes actions that address the largest drivers of greenhouse gas emissions, with an emphasis on energy and mobility.
“Built on many years of successful City-lead sustainability efforts in the San Jose’s Green Vision Plan, we’re proud that Climate Smart San José is a new people-centered plan, developed by engaging with San Jose residents and technical experts,” said Kerrie Romanow, San Jose Environmental Services Department director. “We’d like to change the conversation around sustainability from sacrifice to better ways of living; in order for the plan to work, we ask San Joseans to take action in the areas of water, energy, and mobility.”
The Climate Smart San Jose plan also includes an aggressive set of short-, medium- and long-term goals to meet the Paris-aligned targets. Among the plan’s most notable goals:
· By 2021, San Jose will make 100 percent emission-free electricity available to all San Jose Clean Energy users.
· By 2030, San Jose will reduce carbon emissions from vehicular trips by 1 million tons/year by facilitating the expansion of ridesharing, electric vehicles, and public transit in the city.
· By 2040, San Jose will become the first city in the world to produce 1 gigawatt of solar power (which is enough to power the equivalent of 250,000 homes).
In addition to reducing greenhouse gases, the plan also addresses one of the other great environmental challenges facing cities: achieving a sustainable water supply. As a result, Climate Smart San Jose emphasizes employing sustainable water use measures with a goal of reducing per capita residential water consumption by 30 percent by 2030.
“Despite record rainfall last winter, droughts will remain a persistent threat to our community,” continued Mayor Liccardo. “That’s why our Climate Smart San Jose plan focuses on both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a more sustainable water supply – and we won’t waste any time putting this plan to work.”
Among the major climate strategies already underway is the upcoming launch of San Jose Clean Energy, with the first phase of its roll-out expected in Summer 2018. Approved by the City Council last May, San Jose’s community choice energy program will offer residents and businesses the option to purchase alternative, cleaner-sourced electricity at prices competitive with private utilities.
The City of San Jose will be hosting a Town Hall on Tuesday, February 20 where residents can learn more about Climate Smart San Jose. The meeting will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers (200 E. Santa Clara Street).
The Climate Smart San Jose plan is then scheduled to come to the City Council for approval at its February 27 meeting.