Mayors Team up to Target Carbon Zero
Citing the threat posed by rising temperatures, droughts, fires and floods, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon today launched the joint Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change with the goal of drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the two cities.
The commission, to be led by retired CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Anne Stausboll, will build political support for aggressive climate action and devise strategies for both cities to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, referred to as Carbon Zero, by 2045. The non-profit Local Government Commission will administer the effort and provide staff support.
“As we've witnessed this summer, the potential impacts of climate change on our community are daunting,” Stausboll said. “This initiative gives us the opportunity to accelerate efforts to ensure a healthy and livable Sacramento for our children and grandchildren.”
Mayor Steinberg said the need for urgent action prompted him to create the Commission. He thanked the groups that have agreed to provide funding, including the Resources Legacy Fund, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sacramento Regional Transit, the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Kaiser Permanente, Western Dental Services, Park West Casinos, the City of Sacramento, and NextGen America.
Sacramento has already adopted numerous policies to cut emissions and grow a new economy based on clean technology. These efforts include the city’s selection by Electrify America as a “Green City,” a designation that will bring $44 million in new investments to promote electric vehicle use, including more than 400 EV car-share vehicles for rent on city streets.
“By working together, we can accelerate and shape the transition to a clean energy economy that’s already occurring to ensure that it benefits our local businesses and residents,” said Mayor Steinberg. “We can strengthen Sacramento’s position as a hub for investment in clean technologies and promote social equity and economic prosperity for all.”
The City of West Sacramento continues to build upon its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by implementing projects that advance its climate goals. Projects include West Gateway Place, the first affordable housing development to finish construction in the State of California that was partially funded by California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) through Cap and Trade Funds.
“The City of West Sacramento is partnering with the City of Sacramento on this effort to provide input and feedback on climate policies that cannot only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but promote our shared goals for equitable mobility and sustainable communities,” said Mayor Cabaldon. We look forward to adding our perspective to this collective effort, resulting in strategies that can have a truly regional impact”
The Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change will include experts and community leaders who will convene public meetings and conduct roundtable discussions with business leaders and other key stakeholders. Subgroups will dive deep into each sector and create recommendations to take to the full Commission for consideration. The Commission will focus particular attention on climate policies that also advance economic equity for people in disadvantaged communities.
Its work will culminate in recommendations to get to Carbon Zero, which will strengthen the region’s position when it seeks state funding for climate projects. The Commission’s findings will also be presented to the City of West Sacramento for consideration in its updated Climate Action Plan and the City of Sacramento for inclusion in its updated Climate Action Plan.
The announcement follows last week’s Global Climate Action Summit, a multi-day event in San Francisco that drew thousands of government officials, environmentalists and business leaders from all over the world. Both Mayor Steinberg and Mayor Cabaldon participated in events at the summit, and both belong to the Climate Mayors, a group of U.S. mayors working together to demonstrate leadership on climate change in their communities and build political will for action on the federal and global level.