Mayor Unveils Environmental Plan

(January 15, 2008)

Introduces legislation that bans inefficient fluorescent light bulbs

San Francisco, CA--Today, Mayor Gavin Newsom released SForward, the roadmap to achieve San Francisco's ambitious environmental goals of a 20% decrease in CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by 2010 and carbon neutrality for city government by 2020, a goal recently announced by Mayor Newsom in his inaugural address. SForward incorporates the environmental goals, programs and strategies of all key City departments, including the Public Utilities Commission, Municipal Transportation Authority, Department of Public Works and Recreation and Parks Department.

"San Francisco's environmental future is already unfolding," said Mayor Newsom. "When fully realized the San Francisco of the future will be a place where words like 'green' and 'sustainable' are meaningless, because it will simply be understood that any action includes best practices for the environment."

SForward identifies six policy areas that will be developed: renewable and efficient energy, clean transportation, green buildings, urban forest, zero waste, and environmental justice. The plan also highlights programs that are working right now, such as San Francisco's successful recycling efforts and recent biodiesel conversion efforts of food waste--as well as new ideas such as solar incentives and a local carbon offset program. The plan also looks toward changing municipal policies, such as the General Plan, as well as individual departmental strategic plans and asks how the City can incorporate climate action in all initiatives.

To coincide with the launch of SForward, today Mayor Newsom submitted legislation that will prohibit the use of the outdated, environmentally costly T-12 lightbulb, and to transition to the T-8 bulb. The T-8 lighting tubes are up to 40% more energy efficient, and have improved color, less heat, and less noise. The value of replacing the T-12 tubes is calculated that if all the remaining older fluorescent lights in the city were replaced with this new T-8 lighting technology, it would save enough energy to power 7,200 local residences, reduce 16,500 tons of CO2, and is the equivalent of taking over 3,000 automobiles off the streets.

To assist with these new requirements funding is available to help with the conversion to the more energy efficient light bulbs. The SF Energy Watch Program has nearly $4 million to offer to local businesses to help with energy efficiency conversions. It provides incentive programs, training, education, and technical assistance for small businesses and residential customers.

The SForward plan is based on the work of the Environment Commission and Department of Environment.