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January 28, 2009 > Strategic action planned on climate crisis

Strategic action planned on climate crisis

Submitted By Guy Ashley

Alameda County and cities met on Friday, January 23, 2009 to plan collaborative action on the growing global climate crisis, committing themselves to bold eco-friendly strategies even in these tough economic times.

"We cannot afford to wait," said Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, "The window of opportunity is narrowing to prevent severe climate change impacts for current and future generations of Alameda County residents. Today we are coming together to discuss how we can take action to invest in our common future, improve quality of life, and combat climate change."

More than 150 elected officials, executives and staff from Alameda County and its 14 cities joined together with regional agency and State representatives for a day-long event at the San Leandro Library that included strategy sessions on topics such as energy efficiency, land use, transportation, and waste reduction.

The Alameda County and Cities Climate Forum follows up on a 2006 meeting, called "Summit 2016," where County and city leaders discussed future priorities that included action on climate change. The County and cities are currently engaged in creating and implementing climate action plans.

Today's Forum also marked the release of a newly completed countywide estimate of greenhouse gas emission sources. Many jurisdictions have already taken significant actions to reduce emissions.

"Local governments have an important role to play to reduce our own emissions and set an example for others," said County Administrator Susan S. Muranishi. "But, as this estimate confirms, it will take all of us-government, residents, businesses, nonprofits-working together to solve this crisis."

The emissions estimates show that, within Alameda County, transportation is the largest contributor to the community's carbon footprint, followed by emissions from energy use at commercial and industrial facilities. The remaining emissions come from residential energy use and from waste sent to area landfills.

"Working with local and state agencies to address transportation issues in this region is vital to the long term health and economic well being of our residents," said Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who is also the Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). "The leadership and collaboration shown at today's Forum bring us one step closer to solving this and other key regional challenges."

San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos said, "I believe that local governments working together can lead the way in creating a green economy that helps us solve the global economic and climate crises. We also hope that regional collaboration will strengthen the County and cities' applications for funding that may become available for climate best practices."

Next steps for the County and cities include collaborative climate action, completing individual climate action plans, and working with residents and businesses to reduce emissions. For more information about the Forum, visit www.acclimateaction.org.

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