Sunnyvale’s City Council unanimously adopted the Climate Action Playbook at their Aug. 13 meeting.
The Climate Action Playbook aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause climate change. The Playbook sets a target of 56 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, which is more ambitious than the state’s 40 percent target. The ultimate target is reducing emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, considered carbon neutrality.
“The state of California targets are certainly bold, but we knew Sunnyvale had to be bolder by 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein. “Climate action is a race against time and we’ve heard from many in our community who want to get and stay ahead as soon as we can.”
By 2016, Sunnyvale had already surpassed the state’s 2020 target — cutting GHG emissions to 1990 levels — by achieving a further reduction of 12 percent below 1990 levels, even as population and jobs grew. The new Climate Action Playbook builds on the City’s past success from its original 2014 Climate Action Plan and outlines six broad strategies to achieve carbon neutrality:
- Promoting clean electricity;
- Shifting to all-electric buildings;
- Promoting biking, walking and transit, reducing vehicle trips, and shifting to zero-emission vehicles;
- Managing resources sustainably;
- Empowering and educating our community; and
- Adapting to a changing climate.
Within these strategies, the Playbook also calls for the City and community to implement, in the next three years, 46 specific actions that put the City on the path to achieving its ambitious climate goal. These include electrifying buildings, adopting all-electric heat pumps for space and water heating, promoting electric vehicles, improving implementation of the transportation demand management program to reduce vehicle trips and engaging the community through grassroots action.
“We’re experiencing more severe threats from climate change, including devastating wildfires and unprecedented floods,” said Mayor Klein. “Collective local action and teamwork between the City and community is needed to cut back our emissions. With the adoption of this Playbook and ambitious targets to aspire to, our community is poised and ready for kick off.”