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Prioritizing Climate Action + Supporting EQC Recommendations

From: domainremoved <Mitch>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2020 13:19:32 -0800

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Mayor Taylor and Council members,

I served on the EQC for 8 years and am co-founder of Menlo Spark.

In 2017 the Green Ribbon Citizens Committee concluded that Menlo Park had the opportunity for a disproportionate influence in addressing climate change due to our reputation as a center of innovation. As former Mayor Ohtaki often said, “the future begins in Menlo Park.”

The GRCC called upon City Council and staff to develop a climate action plan with aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets with regular updates. We envisioned Menlo Park being an incubator for best practices and new technologies, leading the way by become a climate neutral community.

City Council adopted a CAP with a then very aggressive GHG reduction target of 27% by 2020.

It appears that Menlo Park will attain this aggressive target, or at least come very close. This is in large part due to the measures adopted by City Council with strong support from staff, the EQC, and many other stakeholder resources such as San Mateo County, Peninsula Clean Energy, Menlo Spark, and so many of our citizen activists and innovative businesses. Dozens of communities are now joining with us and following our actions.

In the meantime the climate has deteriorated at a faster pace than had been predicted in 2017 by climate scientists in their pessimistic forecasts. The CO2 equivalent concentration in the atmosphere exceeds the sustainable climate that existed for 99% of human history by 1 trillion tons. Humanity is emitting more than 40 billion additional metric tons each year. We are poisoning the earth that our children and grandchildren will call home.

Right now you are faced with a critical decision in this regard. After 2020 Menlo Park has no greenhouse gas reduction targets. If this remains the case, then we are signaling to ourselves and the world that this is a problem that we expect the federal government and global bodies to address, without our help. What are the chances that this will succeed?

On the other hand, if we maintain our leadership by adopting the only greenhouse gas reduction target that gives us a real chance at restoring a healthy climate, we re-invigorate our leadership. Many communities are watching us and they will either be inspired by what you choose to prioritize, or they may become disheartened and find it more difficult for their leaders to summon the courage to act.

Please prioritize the EQC recommendations for a lean climate action plan aimed at climate neutrality by 2030, as well as the types of actions they are recommending for this year. 2030 will be upon us quickly and the only way to achieve a this aggressive target is with relentless action.

I thank you for the courage to act not only to prioritize the many short-term interests that your duties require, but also actions that will create a healthier, more economically viable Menlo Park for the future while inspiring many many other communities to follow suit.

Mitch Slomiak
Chair, Menlo Spark Advisory Board
Received on Thu Jan 30 2020 - 13:23:17 PST

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