Post-Glasgow, Local Governments Join Race to Zero

Suzanne Potter | California News Service
Las agencias locales, estatales y federales están trabajando para electrificar los coches Caltrain que van de San José a San Francisco, lo que reducirá las emisiones de carbono, permitirá más pasajeros y reducirá la congestión. Photo Credit:  Caltrain

LOS ANGELES — A new report found American cities and counties should make it their goal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 63% by 2030 in order to live up to the Paris Climate Agreement and keep global warming in check.

In April, President Joe Biden pledged to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 50% by 2030.

Angie Fyfe, executive director of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA, which produced the report, said cities ought to set their sights even higher.

“Because we are a more developed and wealthier nation, in order to achieve our fair share of emission reductions, we have set targets for cities at 63% reduction by 2030,” Fyfe explained.

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA helps local governments create an inventory of their greenhouse-gas emissions, set science-based targets and develop a plan to reduce them. Many cities are replacing their fleets of cars and buses with electric vehicles, making their towns more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly, and helping families insulate their homes and buy electric appliances to improve energy efficiency.

Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose, formed a community choice energy program, which allows customers to buy power derived from renewable sources in an effort to help “green the grid.”

“And since that time, we’ve seen such a dramatic improvement in our portfolio,” Liccardo pointed out. “We’re now 90% GHG-free, and our goal, of course, is to get to 100%.”

San Jose has also moved to prevent urban sprawl by setting aside land for open space and is building out a network of electric-vehicle charging stations.

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