For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, PIO, City Manager's Office, (510) 981-7008
BERKELEY UNVEILS AGGRESSIVE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
Community given more opportunity to review and comment
Berkeley, California (Thursday, September 18, 2008) - The City of Berkeley released a revised plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions today. It contains a detailed implementation timeline and specific strategies for reducing Berkeley’s transportation, energy use, and solid waste emissions.
The revised Climate Action Plan will be presented at a public workshop for the City Council on Tuesday, September 23. For the next six weeks, the public is also invited to review the new plan, comment on the proposed city policies, and seize opportunities to make change in their own homes and offices.
Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan is the result of Measure G, which Berkeley voters overwhelmingly approved in 2006. Measure G established a goal of reducing Berkeley emissions by80% by the year 2050. Over the past year, the Mayor and City Council provided leadership on a community-based action planning process that included multiple public workshops and input from climate change experts and members of the public.
“The Berkeley community has been very clear that it wants to mobilize on climate change and other sustainability issues,” said Timothy Burroughs, Climate Change Coordinator. “By identifying specific strategies, this plan really shows what residents can do and what impact they can make on the critical problem of global warming.”
The plan recommends further incentives for putting more housing and jobs near transit; calls for rapidly expanding car sharing opportunities; and recommends creating an integrated network of shuttle buses to serve areas of the City that do not have access to BART or AC Transit stations.
Included in the recommendations is the City’s innovative plan to allow private property owners to voluntarily pay for the cost of solar energy systems through their property taxes. This program is designed to address the main financial barrier to homeowners’ investments in solar, the upfront installation costs.
The City Council will receive a presentation about the plan on Tuesday evening, and more public meetings are being planned for the public comment period, which opens today and extends to November 7.
You can download the Climate Action Plan right here, or visit www.BerkeleyClimateAction.org on or after Friday, September 19. From that website, you can also read more about Measure G and comment directly on the plan.
In November 2006, Berkeley voters passed Measure G, which read as follows:
Should the People of the City of Berkeley have a goal of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and advise the Mayor to work with the community to develop a plan for Council adoption in 2007, which sets a ten year emissions reduction target and identifies actions by the City and residents to achieve both the ten year target and the ultimate goal of 80 percent emissions reductions?