Mayors launch effort to slash carbon as federal government warns climate change could shrink economy
Mayor Darrell Steinberg and West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon convened the first meeting of their Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change on Nov. 26, just days after the release of a new report by 13 federal agencies that found climate change could shrink the nation’s economy by 10 percent by the turn of the century.
The mayors formed the commission to push their cities toward even more aggressive action in reducing the use of fossil fuels. They have endorsed the ambitious state goal of achieving carbon neutrality — or Carbon Zero — by 2045.
“By working together to get to Carbon Zero, Sacramento and West Sacramento can be model cities for combating climate change,” said Mayor Steinberg.
He emphasized that the goal of the Commission is to come up with innovative ideas to reduce carbon that will attract investment and promote clean energy and transportation jobs that will offer opportunities to residents of all neighborhoods.
“This is not climate versus economic development; it is both,” Mayor Steinberg said.
Mayor Cabaldon said climate change “threatens our very survival as a region.”
“Our two cities have been at the forefront of the work,” he added. “We have accomplished a great deal. It is not near enough.”
Rather than just telling people they need to change their behavior, Cabaldon said the Commission should seek to come up with “solutions that are fundamentally transformative” such as the electric-assist JUMP bikes that have attracted thousands of riders in both cities — people who might otherwise be using their cars.
The Commission will convene for five three-hour public meetings, structured around key sectors including the built environment, mobility, and community health and resiliency. The final result will be a Recommendations Report that highlights priority strategies to achieve Carbon Zero.
Buildings and transportation are the biggest sources of emissions and will be the focus of the Commission’s work.
Please visit www.lgc.org/climatecommission for ongoing updates and resources for the Commission.