Since launching its climate action plan eight months ago, San Jose has created its own clean energy system, given residents 400 energy-efficient light bulbs, held at least 15 outreach events and won a $2.5 million grant to help reduce its carbon footprint.
The City Council on Tuesday will hear a progress report on “Climate Smart San Jose,” a Paris Agreement-aligned action plan adopted after President Trump pulled out of the international pact this past year.
Climate Smart San Jose is led by the city’s Environmental Services Department and a working group comprising managers from nine other departments. So far, the plan mostly involves drumming up community involvement and securing enough funding to achieve its long-term goals.
In June, the city won a $325,000 grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to reduce emissions from existing buildings through a mix of incentives and training. And just this month, San Jose was accepted into a two-year Bloomberg Philanthropies program that gives the city $2.5 million to promote sustainable transportation and phase out of using fossil fuels in buildings.
Bloomberg Philanthropies will give San Jose and 19 other cities support and training to help it implement its climate action plan. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told the Mercury News earlier this month that he wants to use the fund’s resources to start an electric car pilot program for people who can’t necessarily afford Teslas and to urge property owners to reduce energy consumption at commercial and apartment buildings.
“The American Cities Climate Challenge program is designed to support cities in making meaningful progress on their climate goals in the near term, and San Jose will focus on transportation mode shift, vehicle electrification, energy efficiency and the elimination of natural gas,” San Jose Environmental Services Director Kerrie Romanow said of the Bloomberg grant in a memo to the council.
The program is organized around three kinds of initiatives, she said: foundational, ambitious and moonshot. Foundational practices include things like energy-efficiency retrofits on city buildings, electric car charging stations on public parking lots, energy code enforcement, public transit upgrades and commuter incentives.
Ambitious actions include introducing new mobility options such as bike-sharing and electric scooters, while moonshot goals entail “next-generation,” “high-impact” actions such as tracking and curbing energy consumption in the private sector.
More from the San Jose City Council agenda for October 30. 2018:
- San Jose’s anti-litter and anti-graffiti programs upped the number of volunteers by 6,000 from 2016 to 19,000 people this year. It also doubled the number of litter cleanup events to 600 and boosted volunteer hours by 3,000 to 50,000 in the same timeframe, according to a report going before the council.
- The city will consider awarding a $6.2 million contract to Van Nuys-based Sentry Control Systems to operate its parking lot access and revenue control systems, which include a license plate scanner. To comply with state law, the city’s Department of Transportation will also need to come up with a policy to ensure that the plate reader isn’t used to monitor First Amendment-protected activities.
- The city is trying to fill vacancies on the two boards that oversee its retirement plans. Gresham Partners managing partner Anurag Chandra, Geneva Advisors portfolio manager Eswar Menon and former Silicon Valley Community Foundation investments director Elaine Orr applied for positions on the Federated City Employees’ Retirement Plan. Self-employed investor Vikas Oswal and Ponte Partners managing partner Ghia Griarte are up for consideration for the Police and Fire board.
WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260