Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Climate Action Plan Community Outreach in Sunnyvale 5/8/14 6:30 - 8:30p

A group of Sunnyvale residents and business folks have been working for nearly 4 years to draft an honest to goodness Climate Action Plan. This is a great opportunity to check out how this kind of thing actually gets done. If you are interested in seeing the result of their amazing effort, please consider attending their presentation of the plan:

On Thursday May 8, 2014 staff will host a community outreach meeting on the Climate Action Plan from 6:30 PM-8 PM, in the Community Room of the Community Center,  550 E. Remington Drive, Sunnyvale.  A good turnout would demonstrate interest in systematically reducing our community's GHG emissions.

Sunnyvale city government has been developing a Climate Action Plan (and an update of the transportation and land use parts of the general plan) for almost four years now. The goal of the Plan is to systematically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our community. The effort included the extensive efforts of a citizen advisory committee which represented residents and businesses, city staff and consultants.  The citizen committee met 26 times plus additional subcommittee meetings during an 18 month period beginning in July of 2010. Then the draft plan and the general plan update went to the staff and environmental review process, where they hit some snags and perhaps some staffing shortages.

At last the draft Climate Action Plan is undergoing commission review.  Both the Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Commission and the Sustainability Commission unanimously recommended that Council adopt the entire plan. The Plan goes to the Planning Commission on Monday (April 28, 2014 8 PM, Council Chambers), to complete the Commission review process.

In addition, the Plan is available online from http://horizon2035.inSunnyvale.com <http://horizon2035.insunnyvale.com/> , right side of the page.  The draft Plan includes

  • a good executive summary,
  • background information,
  • the results of the community-wide greenhouse gas inventory that shows  where our emissions come from,
  • over 100 action items to reduce Sunnyvale's greenhouse gas emissions, and  
  • estimates of the size of the emission reductions we can expect from each  action item and a general idea of cost.
If all the actions in the CAP are implemented, Sunnyvale's GHG emission reductions are estimated to be twice the 2020 goal recommended by the State of California. This plan finally gets us moving in the right direction in a coordinated way.

The draft Plan finally goes to Council on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. The meeting starts at 7 PM, Council Chambers, City Hall, 456 West Olive Avenue.  Again, a good turn out would demonstrate interest. Informed and reasoned comments emphasizing things like
  • the reality of climate change,
  • urgency of addressing it,
  • the advantages of action,
  • the need to surpass the State 2020 goal (1990 levels by 2020 or 15%  below baseline levels, in our case 2008 levels) as this plan, if completely  enacted, would do.
  • the moral imperative of action,
  • your personal reasons for supporting action, etc.
would be helpful. A slim majority of our councilmembers are inclined to adopt the Plan, but supportive comments are helpful. Judging from the comments posted in the City's online survey, there will likely be comments denying the reality of climate change, poo-pooing the need to act, and objecting to any expense or staffing to support the effort.

If this Plan is adopted, Sunnyvale will have a solid policy basis on which to base strong action. Staff would then come back to Council within four months with an implementation plan.  Funding has not yet been identified, so even after the Plan is adopted, continued citizen engagement will be required so that Council knows that we want them to prioritize implementation of the Climate Action Plan.

Let's demonstrate how Silicon Valley residents concerned about Climate Change could get together to coordinate efforts--emails and oral comments to Council.


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