San Francisco publishes new climate action plan
As by 2019, San Francisco reduced its carbon emissions by 41% from 1990 levels. CleanPowerSF, which is already largely greenhouse gas-free, is also poised to provide a 100% renewable electricity supply to San Francisco electricity customers by 2025. And in 2020, SF adopted the most comprehensive ban on natural gas in new construction in the country, which will drastically reduce the use of methane – the main component of natural gas that has a global warming potential 21 times greater than carbon dioxide over a period of 100 years.
In total, the action plan identifies 31 strategies and 159 support actions to contribute to the achievement of the City’s new environmental commitments, which are all codified in the 136-page PDF.
Here is a rough breakdown of the main objectives of the plan:
- Reduce emissions 61% below 1990 levels by 2030
- Achieve net zero emissions by 2040, which is defined as reducing emissions by 90% below 1990 levels and sequestering the rest in natural solutions like trees and green spaces
- Use 100% renewable electricity by 2025 and phase out all other fossil fuels.
- Electrify all existing buildings
- Increase the production of compact infill housing close to public transport
- Reduce food waste and eat a diet rich in plants
What’s particularly interesting about this redesigned version is its dedication to safeguarding biodiversity – an often overlooked part of local governments’ tackling the climate crisis. When we live in an age when many biologists consider the “Anthropocene period”, Which designates the current geological age of human activity which acts as the dominant influence on the climate and the environment, it is an element which deserves to be highlighted.
After all: we are currently losing species of flora and fauna at a rate a thousand times faster than normal.
“San Francisco’s commitments to marry biodiversity protection with climate action align with global efforts,” read an expert form on page 114 of the document. “State and federal governments, along with the C40, mega-cities of the global network have set a goal of conserving 30% of land and coastal waters by 2030, both for robust biodiversity and to reduce emissions. . “