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Support for Clean Energy, Healthy, and Safe "Reach Codes" for New Homes & Buildings in Menlo Park

From: domainremoved <Diane>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2019 19:46:13 +0000

Dear Mayor Mueller and City Council Members,

Thank you for your leadership on climate action, with the proposed Reach Codes (“updated building codes and local amendments to the 2019 California Energy Code to require higher levels of building electrification and solar production for newly constructed buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”) under consideration at City Council this evening. We are very supportive of this policy and hope you will move to adopt the ordinance (No. 1057).

Adopting this Reach Code is the single biggest climate action that the city can take this year. With a failure of national leadership on climate, it is more important now than ever that cities act swiftly to address the climate crisis. We have experienced record heat waves more frequently, with last month (July) being the hottest month ever on record. Climate change has also led to a five-fold increase in wildfires in California. Perhaps the biggest impact of climate change in Menlo Park is significant flooding due to sea level rise expected in the coming decades. According to San Mateo County’s 2018 Vulnerability assessment, there is a strong possibility that, without substantial intervention, the Bayfront Expressway would be inundated, along with nearly all of Belle Haven and the Bayfront area. Over $1.2 billion in assets are at risk, posing serious social justice and economic concerns.

The majority of global warming pollution – 70% - comes from cities, making local leadership critical in fighting climate change. It is exciting to see the City of Menlo Park step up its commitment to climate action and leadership. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/) released a seminal report finding that we must dramatically reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 through rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented measures. The City of Menlo Park rose up to the challenge of this sobering news with a Climate and Sustainability resolution in April, committing to, among other things “ taking significant action to move toward net municipal and community carbon neutrality in the short term, with maximum efforts to implement carbon reduction actions by 2030.” This Reach Code policy is a major step towards meeting that goal, placing Menlo Park at the forefront of cities leading on climate.

The Reach Code policy is a highly visible and practical step forward to address the climate crisis, by breaking the cycle of fossil fuel dependency in buildings. Each new electric home saves up to 4 tons of carbon per year. The policy also benefits our city by:

  1. Saving money – All-electric homes save at least $6,000 in construction costs; and
  2. Improving health and safety by avoiding indoor pollution and highly flammable combustion sources inside our homes & buildings.

We are grateful for the significant leadership and thoughtful approach of city staff and Environmental Quality Commissioners, who have dedicated substantial time developing and fine-tuning the Reach Code policy. I hope you will support the Reach Codes as an important climate action to phase out fossil natural gas fuel use in our homes and buildings. Let’s work together towards a fossil free and climate-stable future.

Diane Bailey

Diane Bailey | Executive Director
diane_at_(domainremoved) 650-281-7073
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Climate Neutral for a Healthy, Prosperous Menlo Park

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Received on Tue Aug 27 2019 - 12:39:00 PDT

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