Climate Change is science, not Santa. We don’t get to choose whether or not to believe, because it’s here: warming climate, extreme weather, acidification of the oceans, sea level rise, animals and forests dying off at alarming rates, air, land and water pollution at unsustainable levels.
But here’s the thing, I don’t want to keep talking about climate change because we aren’t FOR climate change. We are FOR a climate-resilient future. We are FOR a green economy. We are FOR sustainable development. We are FOR meeting the needs of the present and future generations through a systemic approach to environmental, social and economic progress.
How we implement sustainable development:
Demonstrate Leadership – Make California and its communities a beacon of sustainability for the country and the world.
Encourage and support California’s cities to get sustainability assessments, sustainable city plans and climate action plans in place.
Encourage a regional approach –building and improving upon county programs.
A Regional approach is necessary. Pollution and climate change permeate state lines. Develop meaningful partnerships & share best practices with local, regional, national and international bodies and organizations including:
Academic Institutes (Eg. UCLA’s Sustainable Grand Challenge)
Green Business programs (eg. California Green Business Network)
Chamber of Commerce (city, region, state level)
Other states and state bodies focused on environment and climate change
Promote and clean, renewable energy policies (including Community Choice Aggregation, distributed solar, solar streets and other innovative technologies)
End fossil fuel subsidies.
Increase incentives for renewables. 50% renewable energy by 2030 is current goal for state. Create a stretch goal of 100% by 2050. (FYI - in 2016, the Legislature passed SB 32, which codifies a 2030 GHG emissions reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels.)
Establish zero waste goal for the state!
Support improved municipal recycling systems (to improve diversion rates, reduce contamination and increase the quality of recyclables).
Support food waste composting across municipalities/state to divert from landfill and support agriculture (alternative daily cover/mulch to return nutrients to soil – our soils are dying!); support more Anaerobic digestion facilities across state for renewable energy production.
Phase out all super pollutants such as HFCs.
Decrease Hazardous Waste
Promote water self-sufficiency across the state, such as programs like Tree People’s StormCatcher Project
Support bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Help other states and countries to reduce GHGs and expand carbon markets
Increase the number of buildings implementing Sustainable Design Practices (LEED or LEED guidelines)
Incentivize sustainable purchasing
Support more Community Gardens & Farmers Markets & sustainable ag practices
Preserve Economic and Income Diversity
Preserve/Increase Affordable Housing options
Support Living Wages and family benefits (health care and child care) to support families and healthy communities
Incentivize and reward Sustainable Business Practices
Incentivize baseline government operations (buildings, transportation fleet, parking lots) GHG inventory following ICLEI protocols by 2018.
Incentivize municipal-level Climate Action Planning (including Climate Resiliency Preparedness, Mitigation & Adaptation) with clear targets and indicators.
Incentivize Comprehensive Sustainable City Plans with clear indicators, targets, and strategies to track progress.
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