San Francisco, CA (September 5, 2018) — Mayor London N. Breed today announced groundbreaking new environmental commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste, and advance green infrastructure investments to further San Francisco’s climate action goals. Mayor Breed, who was joined by City Department Heads and Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, also unveiled the City’s largest new conventional rooftop solar installation on the roof of the Moscone Convention Center, where Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) will convene from September 12-14, 2018.
“As the Federal Administration rolls back critical environmental protections, San Francisco continues to lead in the fight against climate change. The Global Climate Action Summit is a chance to highlight San Francisco’s environmental leadership on the world stage,” said Mayor Breed. “We have successfully reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from 1990 levels, while growing our economy by 111% and increasing our population by 20%. But in order to fully realize the ambitions of the Paris Climate Accord, we must continue to make bold commitments and accelerate actions that reduce emissions and move us towards a clean energy future. That is why, in addition to formally joining the Sierra Club’s nationwide clean energy campaign, San Francisco is committing to reducing landfill disposal by 50% by 2030 and ensuring all of our buildings are net-zero emissions by 2050.”
Building upon San Francisco’s track record of successful greenhouse gas emissions reductions, Mayor Breed announced that she has agreed to become the newest Mayoral Co-Chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors For 100% Clean Energy program, a growing coalition of more than 200 mayors nationwide supporting a goal of 100% clean, renewable energy in their communities. To that end, Mayor Breed also doubled down on San Francisco’s commitment to 100% renewable energy and became a formal signatory to the Sierra Club’s nationwide clean energy campaign.
“Mayors can lead our nation toward a healthier, stronger and more prosperous country by supporting a vision of 100% clean, renewable energy in their communities. Cities don't need to wait for Washington, D.C. to act in order to move the ball forward on clean energy,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “The Sierra Club applauds Mayor Breed for championing this vision in San Francisco and we look forward to working with her as a Co-Chair of our Mayors For 100% Clean Energy program to accelerate the transition away from dirty fuels to 100% clean and renewable sources of energy for all.”
The GCAS will welcome leaders from cities, states, and regions throughout the world and serve as an opportunity for deeper worldwide climate commitments. Cities account for 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and play a key role in achieving the accelerated emissions reductions set forward by the Paris Climate Accords.
At the Moscone Center, Mayor Breed committed San Francisco to four key policy pledges:
- Zero Waste: Reduce waste generation by 15% and landfill disposal by 50% by 2030.
- Decarbonizing Buildings: Net-zero carbon buildings in San Francisco by 2050.
- Green Bonds: Issue more green bonds to finance infrastructure and capital projects.
- 100% Renewable Energy: Switch all electricity in San Francisco to renewables by 2030.
“San Francisco is an example to the country and to the world that a strong economy and strong environmental policies can go hand-in-hand,” said Debbie Raphael, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “Our continued progress shows that these goals drive action and deliver results that improve our environment and enhance the quality of life for all of our residents.”
These commitments align with a recently completed analysis by the San Francisco Department of Environment for achieving deep emissions reductions across key sectors by 2050. To achieve further near-term reductions, the City plans to expand its renewable energy portfolio, complete a citywide roll-out of the CleanPowerSF program by 2019, and update green building standards for both municipal and private sector projects.
The Moscone Center expansion project, scheduled for completion in December 2018, exemplifies what the new climate-conscious buildings of the future must aim for. The new green Moscone Convention Center is aiming for LEED Platinum certification and would be the highest LEED-certified convention center in the nation. In addition, the convention center was designed for efficiency, from harvesting daylight to capturing more than 12 million gallons of rain water, foundation groundwater, and condensation water annually for landscape irrigation, on-site toilet flushing and street cleaning.
“San Francisco’s commitment to environmental sustainability is demonstrated in the Moscone project,” said San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, whose department is providing project management and construction management services for the Center. “From demanding smart building design to strategically reducing energy use and emissions, cities and states can be leaders in the battle against global warming.”
Key to San Francisco’s clean energy future are new solar installations like the Moscone Center array. Featuring 792 new panels, the solar generating facility will be San Francisco’s largest conventional rooftop array once completed and will generate 20% of the building’s energy needs. The City's Hetch Hetchy Power System, operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), will supply the remainder of electricity, ensuring that the Global Climate Action Summit and other conventions are powered by 100% emissions-free, clean electricity.
“Global climate change starts at home, and now, more than ever, we’re giving San Franciscans the power to choose cleaner, greener electricity that is generated from local sources,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “Between our 100 year-old greenhouse gas-free Hetch Hetchy Power system and our growing CleanPowerSF community choice energy program, we are now supplying electricity to meet approximately 50% of the demand in San Francisco. Publicly owned, carbon-free power is critical to achieving San Francisco’s clean energy vision and will ensure a greener future for generations to come.”
To celebrate the arrival of the Global Climate Action Summit, many City agencies, businesses, civic and cultural institutions, and non-profit organizations will showcase their sustainability efforts through a series of affiliate events. On September 13 (Green Thursday Night), cultural organizations located around Moscone Center will all be open from 5:00pm -9:00pm offering free access for a variety of exhibitions and programs as well as live music in Yerba Buena Gardens. On September 13, Ford Go Bikes will be free for the public to use all day. For more information, please visit SFArts.org.
“San Francisco has been at the vanguard of environmental policies, and our parks are no exception. Our ambitious water conservation plan, coupled with our 97% green waste diversion, demonstrate how cities can maintain their green spaces while reducing their environmental footprint,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg.