San José Leaders Unveil Ambitious Climate Plan

Climate Smart San José is among the first municipal climate plans to outline a “Path to Paris”

San José, Calif. – This morning, the City of San José leaders unveiled Climate Smart San
José: one of the first municipal climate plans that outlines a path to achieving the Paris
Agreement’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

“While our White House’s current occupant abdicates his global environment responsibilities, San José increasingly emerges as a national model for cities seeking a sustainable future,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Climate Smart San José will engage our entire community in the sustainability effort, with a particular emphasis on broadening the benefits of the green dividend for our most vulnerable residents.”

The Climate Smart San José plan continues building upon San José’s longstanding leadership in sustainability. Just last year, the San José metro area was named the top U.S. metro in meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals.

With this plan, the City of San José is employing a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach that includes several key strategies and bold campaigns designed to meets its ambitious sustainability goals. In particular, the plan prioritizes actions that address the largest drivers of greenhouse gas emissions, with an emphasis on energy and mobility.

“Built on many years of successful City-lead sustainability efforts in the San José’s Green Vision Plan, we’re proud that Climate Smart San José is a new people-centered plan, developed by engaging with San José residents and technical experts,” said Kerrie Romanow, San José Environmental Services Department director. “We’d like to change the conversation around sustainability from sacrifice to better ways of living; in order for the plan to work, we ask San Joséans to take action in the areas of water, energy, and mobility.”

The Climate Smart San José plan also includes an aggressive set of short-, medium- and longterm goals to meet the Paris-aligned targets. Among the plan’s most notable goals:

• By 2021, San José will make 100 percent emission-free electricity available to all San
José Clean Energy users.
• By 2030, San José will reduce carbon emissions from vehicular trips by 1 million
tons/year by facilitating the expansion of ridesharing, electric vehicles, and public transit
in the city.
• By 2040, San José will become the first city in the world to produce 1 gigawatt of solar
power (which is enough to power the equivalent of 250,000 homes).

In addition to reducing greenhouse gases, the plan also addresses one of the other great
environmental challenges facing cities: achieving a sustainable water supply. As a result,
Climate Smart San José emphasizes employing sustainable water use measures with a goal
of reducing per capita residential water consumption by 30 percent by 2030.

“Despite record rainfall last winter, droughts will remain a persistent threat to our community,” continued Mayor Liccardo. “That’s why our Climate Smart San José plan focuses on both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a more sustainable water supply – and we won’t waste any time putting this plan to work.”

Among the major climate strategies already underway is the upcoming launch of San José Clean Energy, with the first phase of its roll-out expected in Summer 2018. Approved by the City Council last May, San José’s community choice energy program will offer residents and businesses the option to purchase alternative, cleaner-sourced electricity at prices competitive with private utilities.

Read the Climate Smart San José Executive Summary
Read the Climate Smart San José Fact Sheet
Read the entire plan

The City of San José will be hosting a Town Hall on Tuesday, February 20 where residents
can learn more about Climate Smart San José. The meeting will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers (200 E. Santa Clara St).

The Climate Smart San José plan is then scheduled to come to the City Council for approval at its February 27 meeting.

About San José Environmental Services Department (ESD)
San José, Capital of Silicon Valley, is the largest city in Northern California and the 10th largest city in the nation. The San José Environmental Services Department (www.sjenvironment.org) manages garbage and recycling services; watershed protection and pollution prevention; municipal drinking water and recycled water; sustainability initiatives and the operation and infrastructure improvements of the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility. With a mission to deliver world class utility services and programs to improve our health, environment, and economy, the department is committed to being a leader in combating climate change at the local government level.

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