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Cities of Chula Vista and Palo Alto Join Green Cities California
Green Cities California (GCC) today welcomed the cities of Chula Vista and Palo Alto as its newest members. “We are proud that these two sustainability leaders have joined our coalition,” said Carol Misseldine, GCC’s Director. “Their sustainability expertise will serve GCC’s mission of accelerating the adoption of sustainability policies through collaborative action.”

Through their Climate Action Plan (CAP), updated in 2008 and 2011, the City of Chula Vista aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while at the same time lowering the risk from inevitable local climate change impacts. Their CAP includes 18 strategies to decrease energy and water consumption, promote renewable energy sources, expand alternative fuel vehicle and infrastructure use, and develop walkable transit-friendly neighborhoods.

According to Deputy Mayor Pamela Bensoussan, “Chula Vista’s leadership is determined to protect the community’s high quality of life and meet our future energy needs through policies that promote energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Such policies also create economic benefit by encouraging and welcoming green businesses to our City.”

The City of Palo Alto’s CAP addresses all aspects of both city operations and Community GHG emissions. The City of Palo Alto is unique among GCC members in that it operates a wastewater treatment plant for 6 local communities and runs its own Water, Gas and Electric Utilities. The wastewater treatment plant has implemented several projects that substantially reduce use. The “Palo Alto Green” program purchases clean energy for participating customers, and has the highest participation rate of such programs in the nation. Palo Alto is finalizing a “Carbon Neutral” plan for its electric Utility and has just adopted a new Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan to add to the City’s extensive alternative commute facilities and reduce GHGs from this sector.

“Palo Alto has adopted many progressive sustainability policies and plans. We continue to pursue innovative ways to enhance our ongoing sustainability efforts and will use this new partnership with GCC and urban sustainability leaders to advance our progress on the path to greater sustainability,” said Palo Alto’s City Manager, James Keene.

The bar for GCC membership is high, by design. Pre-requisites include the adoption of a local climate or sustainability plan, and adoption of the Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Other criteria include an agreement to convert all paper purchased for city operations to 100% post consumer recycled paper and to end the use of city funds for bottled water.

Green Cities California (GCC): Founded in 2007, GCC is a coalition of fourteen of California’s largest and most environmentally progressive local governments, collectively representing over half of California’s population. Our mission is to accelerate the adoption and implementation of sustainability policies and programs through collaborative action.

Posted: December 12, 2012

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