Monday, August 16, 2010

Berkeley's Climate Action Plan

Berkeley, California has a long history of green innovation including curbside recycling, greener vehicle fleets, and a polystyrene foam ban. In July, Berkeley was named a 2010 Smarter City for Energy.

Berkeley documented a 14 percent decrease in its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2005 from 2002 levels which is more than double the reductions called for in the Kyoto Protocol.

The reduction was the equivalent of planting 52,000 trees or removing 450 cars from the road. Measure G, a city effort for citizens to help reduce the city's GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050, was approved by 81 percent of voters in November 2006.

Attracting green business is a central part of Berkeley's strategic thinking. Mayor Tom Bates is working with the University of California, Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and neighboring mayors, and he was a founding member of the East Bay Green Corridor Partnership. Mayor Bates also created Sustainable Berkeley with over 100 representatives from business, community, city and university arenas.

A photovoltaic financing program known as Berkeley FIRST, is a pilot project created by Mayor Bates that allows residents to pay for solar installations as a voluntary long-term assessment on their property tax bill.
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