At Global Summit, Berkeley Commits to Ambitious New Climate Goals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2018
Berkeley Commits to Ambitious New Climate Goals
Berkeley, Calif. – The City of Berkeley has set a bold goal to reach 100% renewable electricity citywide by 2035 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin announced Thursday. The commitments were pledged at the Global Climate Action Summit taking place this week in San Francisco, in an effort to set concrete goals as outlined by the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016.
In addition, the City of Berkeley has signed on to an electric vehicle purchasing initiative that will provide access to reduced-cost clean energy vehicles and infrastructure and has joined a group of Bay Area cities calling for a ban on the transport of coal through their jurisdictions.
“Climate change poses a serious threat to our residents, environment, infrastructure and quality of life and calls for immediate action from local, state and federal governments.” said Mayor Arreguin “By making these commitments, the City of Berkeley is prioritizing working toward reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and moving toward a carbon-free future.”
The new commitments build on Berkeley’s ongoing sustainability and resiliency goals going back more than a decade. In 2009, Berkeley adopted a Climate Action Plan, a long-range vision to achieve zero net energy consumption for all new and existing buildings by 2050, and make public transit, cycling and walking the primary means of transport for city residents. Berkeley has made significant progress, including launching a local requirement for building owners to complete and report energy assessments to identify energy and cost-saving opportunities.
Berkeley is also taking proactive steps to electrify the transportation sector and has one of the highest rates of electric vehicle ownership in the United States, totaling more than 2,175 – one for every 56 residents. Now, by taking part in the EV Purchasing Collaborative, the City of Berkeley will expand its EV fleet and save money by buying vehicles at a pre-negotiated rate.
Finally, the City of Berkeley joins neighboring communities in calling for a ban on coal shipments through East Bay communities. Particulate matter from coal is linked to significant health problems, including aggravated asthma, irregular heartbeat and premature death. In addition, Mayor Arreguin joined other East Bay Mayors in signing a letter urging the Bank of Montreal, which is financing the new coal export terminal in Oakland, to abandon the project due to severe environmental impacts.