Project Description: In August 2017, the City of San Jose released the draft of its Environmental Sustainability Plan, which looked only at three metrics: water conservation, energy efficiency, and transportation. Committee for Green Foothills, together with other environmental groups, objected to the fact that the plan contained no reference to the role of open space in fighting climate change. It is increasingly recognized, including among California state agencies, that natural and working lands (e.g. open space, farmland, ranchland, etc.) offer a significant benefit towards reducing greenhouse gas production. This is not only because open space sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, but also because by preserving open space from development, greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced.
We worked with city staff and other stakeholders to re-imagine the plan in a way that allows for the study of these benefits provided by natural and working lands. In February 2018 the plan, now re-named Climate Smart San Jose, was brought to the city council, which voted to approve a “Phase 2” of the Climate Smart Plan that would analyze the climate change benefits of open space. We will be following “Phase 2” of the Climate Smart plan as it moves forward.
Our Goal: Is to ensure that the Climate Smart Plan recognizes the climate change benefits of open space for San Jose.
For More Information or to Get Involved: please contact our Legislative Advocacy Director Alice Kaufman at: [email protected]
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