SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Mayor London Breed marked Earth Day by announcing San Francisco is ahead of schedule in its goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has set an ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2045.
Breed made the announcement Thursday at a briefing outside Chase Center, the first NBA arena in the state to be a certified green business. The mayor cited data from the city's Department of Environment that as of 2019, San Francisco has reduced its emissions 41% below 1990 levels, well ahead of a goal to reduce emissions 40% by 2025.
As a result, Breed plans to introduce legislation updating the city's climate goals to achieve carbon neutrality in 24 years, five years ahead of the goals set in the Paris Climate Agreement.
"Even with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco has continued to push ahead with our commitment to sustainable and innovative environmental policies that set a standard for the rest of the country," Breed said Thursday. "As we emerge from this pandemic, our climate goals will help us recover in a way that's even more resilient and equitable."
Officials said much of emissions reductions can be credited to the CleanPowerSF community choice utility, which serves 380,000 customers. CleanPowerSF said it has procured enough clean energy that it plans to go 100% renewable by 2025, five years ahead of schedule. The utility said they would be able to transition all customers to 100% renewable energy plans at no extra cost.
Breed said she hopes CleanPowerSF could be a model for cities across the country in reducing emissions.
"San Francisco has been a leader. We know that we just can't operate in our own bubble and make changes to support and uplift the environment without making sure that we are demonstrating how it can be done for others to follow," the mayor said.
Officials said other factors in reducing emissions include energy efficiency programs, green building codes and cleaner fuels, including a switch to renewable diesel.
Legislation updating the climate goals will be introduced to the Board of Supervisors next month, while an updated climate action plan will be released in summer, according to the mayor's office.
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