The other day someone posted in response to renderings of Block 11 at Alameda Point why more developers weren’t using solar or green technology as part of the development because of future environmental challenges. A good point, but one could make the argument that the density of the building at Alameda Point itself makes it more “green” than 200 single family units in Livermore.
On the subject of environmental challenges, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change has recently wrapped up with countries coming establishing a framework to tackle the issue of climate change. While that event was happening, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was co-hosting with the City of Paris a Climate Summit for Local Leaders. The idea is that cities and local leaders will be key to helping reduce the amount of carbon emission that contribute to the planet’s warming. From City Fix:
In the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg launched the Compact of Mayors. This coalition has an impressive membership of 428 cities, representing 376 million people worldwide. The Compact is a coalition of mayors and city leaders who promise to cut down local GHG emissions, increase resilience to climate change, and to track their progress through transparent and standardized measures.
The strength of the Compact of Mayors is its ability to encourage cities to be more ambitious in reducing emissions and adapting to climate change. Still, there is a need for the Compact to offer its signatories technical support in order to attract more public and private finance for bolstering local action plans, ensuring members receive necessary support as they reach their target emissions.
At the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, Michael Bloomberg unveiled the collective potential for emissions reduction of all Compact cities to date through a report authored by World Resources Institute. Analysis shows that existing commitments made by cities (360, as of November 23, 2015) to the Compact of Mayors can cut the global urban GHG emissions by 50 percent by 2030. More specifically, the annual GHG emissions reduction potential was found to be 3.7 GtCO2e. This reduction can fill nearly 25 percent in the emissions gap for preventing global warming by another 2 degrees.
The challenge, however, still lies ahead—action will not be complete until more cities sign on to the Compact to reduce emissions and 100 percent of the member cities are fully compliant with the Compact. From the 400+ members, only 35 cities have achieved all the steps of the Compact.
A good first step for Alameda, if we are truly serious about reducing our emissions to address future environmental challenges would be to be a part of the Compact of Mayors by first committing to be a part of the compact. Right now smaller Bay Area cities like Palo Alto, Cupertino, San Rafael, Benicia, and yes, even Emeryville have signed up. Of all the Bay Area cities only San Francisco is a fully compliant member by meeting all four phases:
If we are serious about climate change then we should urge a holistic approach as opposed to piecemeal expectations like “green” technology or solar panels. A singular developer cannot be expected to take the lead on an issue when the responsibilities lies with our elected officials.