On Monday, April 20, Palo Alto's Chief Sustainability Officer, Gil Friend, will lead a study session with the City Council on the Sustainability/Carbon Action Plan (S/CAP). The S/CAP is "Palo Alto’s ambitious plan to create a prosperous, resilient city for all residents. It supports Palo Alto’s leadership position on climate protection and shows how the City will meet or exceed, state requirements for GHG emission reductions."
Will Palo Alto step up to the challenge of becoming one of the world's first carbon neutral cities, or simply comply with current California legislation that calls for 80% reduction GHGs by 2050 (which is deemed too late by many scientists to keep us from catastrophic change)?
How do we, as Palo Altans, approach this bold vision? There is no simple answer and an "all of the above" strategy will need to be implemented. That means we need to support good policy (eg net-zero or net positive building codes, better zoning around transit, and increased infrastructure for EVs), innovative technological solutions (eg, Mobility as a Service) and behavior change (eg engaging each and every one of us to lead sustainable lifestyles at home, in our purchases and in our food choices).
Some of us joined PAF because of our concern for the environment. The attraction was the conviction that Palo Alto can become carbon neutral if/when we have a variety of affordable housing options so that we can reduce our reliance on automobile travel, specifically SOVs or Single Occupancy Vehicles. Palo Alto's transportation footprint represents the largest percentage of our GHG emissions. Having housing around transit hubs and services within walkable/bike-able neighborhoods can be part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem.
Please join us at Gil's presentation on Monday, April 20 at 7:30 in City Hall and learn about the S/CAP and help guide the vision of a carbon-neutral Palo Alto.