The City Council of San Jose, CA has approved a new framework to achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2030. This will make San José the largest city in the United States to have set this goal. The framework includes: pursuing regional, state, federal, and philanthropic funding; an increase in focus on reduction of transportation emissions; and furthering the priorities of Climate Smart San Jose. Climate Smart San José, which was approved in 2018, is one of the first climate action plans in the United States to align with the greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction targets of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Four key acceleration strategies have been identified:
- moving to zero-emission vehicles;
- reducing the number of Vehicles Miles Traveled (VMT) by 20%;
- wwitching appliances powered by fossil fuels to electric where feasible, and;
- powering the city with 100% carbon-neutral electricity.
A Transportation Demand Management (TDM) ordinance was also approved. The ordinance is a tool to ensure new developments invest in alternative transportation methods by providing transit passes, bike and pedestrian improvements, carshare, and other measures. The council eliminated the minimum parking requirements builders faced in the past, thus allowing market demand to dictate land allocation.
“We remain focused on bold steps to accelerate our climate action work in San José, thanks to partners like Bloomberg Philanthropies and NRDC, dedicated city staff, and countless other community partners,” said San José Mayor Liccardo. “Adopting strategies to accelerate our Carbon Neutral by 2030 goal, and reforming our outdated parking policies are the types of necessary steps we must take to achieve our ambitious climate goals to ensure a livable planet for future generations.”