The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors today affirmed its commitment to the Paris Agreement as a show of the County’s ongoing promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions and curb the already dire consequences to local shorelines.
The Board unanimously passed the resolution at its regular Tuesday meeting also as a sign of unity with other jurisdictions nationwide that have separated themselves from the presidential direction to exit the climate accord.
The United States and 194 other countries signed the agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) as a shared commitment to slow and prevent average global temperature rise. The historic agreement has a unified international goal but each participating country determines its own targets for mitigating and adapting to global warming. The countries are also responsible for monitoring and reporting their emissions. In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced his plan to withdraw from the agreement.
"Combating global climate change is the most urgent cause of our time," said Supervisor Dave Pine. “Without the participation of our federal government, regional, state and local action is more important than ever. The County is a leader in addressing climate change and we will continue to implement policies and programs to aggressively reduce carbon emissions."
Pine and Supervisor Carole Groom jointly introduced the resolution which they said is in line with the strong and innovative leadership the County has shown in developing resilient communities.
The County of San Mateo has developed and adopted Climate Action Plans both internally and for the community with a reduction goal of 15 percent below 2005 greenhouse gas emissions levels by 2020 for government operations and 18 percent for the unincorporated area.
In 2014, the County created an Office of Sustainability to focus on environmental initiatives — many climate change-related — and in fact recently released a draft Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for the county and its cities. The County also promotes energy efficiency through its Energy Watch and Home Upgrade programs, champions alternative travel through its Commute Alternatives and Active Transportation programs, and certifies green businesses. The County and its 20 cities also launched Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), an alternative energy provider, and developed a toolkit of templates and resources to aid its cities that want to proactively reduce their carbon footprint.
“I am proud of the work the County of San Mateo and the state of California have done to stem the tide of climate change and protect our future. The president’s decision does not reflect the views and attitudes of our county so it is imperative that we be bold and stand apart,” Groom said.