November 21, 2014

Air District Passes “Historic” Climate Resolution for Bay Area

BayCAP

photo: Flickr / Ianan (cc)

San Francisco, CA – Wednesday, November 6th – The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, widely known as the Air District, today took an historic step. The Air District Board unanimously approved a Resolution to take strong local action on greenhouse gas emissions and develop a regional climate protection strategy.

The Air District action places the San Francisco Bay Area at the forefront among the world’s great metropolitan areas in fighting climate change and pollution from fossil fuel emissions.

The Resolution:

  • Commits the Bay Area to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared to 1990 levels – in line with international and California commitments.
  • Kicks off the creation of a first-ever Regional Climate Action Strategy to achieve the needed greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2050.
  • Directs Air District staff to develop a near-term work program for climate protection, to be approved in the first quarter of 2014.

The Resolution also contains strong provisions for reducing conventional pollution along with carbon pollution, and for working toward climate justice by protecting vulnerable communities through the implementation of the Regional Climate Action Strategy.

“With this Resolution, the Bay Area has taken the lead in confronting the threat of catastrophic climate disruption. Community members and activists, working with political leaders and Air District staff, have made history today,” said Jess Dervin-Ackerman, a member of the steering committee for 350 Bay Area and conservation organizer for the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay chapter.

The draft Resolution that was introduced for consideration today is available here. The final Resolution will be posted online shortly.

“We on the Board of the Air District are proud to pass this resolution on a unanimous vote,” said Ash Kalra, Board chair. “I’m proud of the Climate Protection Committee, all of our Board members, our Air District staff, and local residents and activists for working together to help us reach this historic outcome.”

The original Resolution was proposed to the Board’s Climate Protection Committee in May by BayCAP, the Bay Climate Action Plan campaign of 350 Bay Area, with strong support from the Sierra Club and its 100,000 Bay Area members and supporters. Also in support, and speaking on the record in favor of the Resolution at the Committee and/or Board level, are Physicians for Social Responsibility; Bay Localize; Communities for a Better Environment; and the SunFlower Alliance, among other local and national groups concerned with the environment.

After the introduction of the Resolution, Climate Protection Committee chair John Avalos took robust action to move it forward, bringing together Air District staff and local residents and activists to improve the Resolution and to more fully align it with Air District programs and policies. The Resolution was amended with staff and citizen suggestions; approved unanimously by the Climate Protection Committee on October 23rd; and approved today by the full Board.

At today’s meeting, Avalos thanked staff, 350 Bay Area, and others for their cooperation in crafting the Resolution and the draft work plan created by the Air District staff to begin implementing it. “We are facing an extraordinary challenge with climate change, and we have to work in extraordinary ways,” said Avalos.

Today’s action follows the passage of a Resolution proposed by Avalos opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL Resolution was passed by the Climate Protection Committee in July and approved by the full Board in August. The Keystone XL Resolution is available here.

Contact: Rand Wrobel
350 Bay Area
rand.wrobel@gmail.com
(510) 914-2349

Contact: Jessica Dervin-Ackerman
Sierra Club
jess.dervin-ackerman@sierraclub.org
(510) 693-7677

Comments

  1. Gerilyn Denny says:

    Congratulations to all involved in this and for keeping the Bay Area at the forefront of responding to and acting to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Much more needs to follow but you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished!

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