The Global Climate Action Summit, which takes place in San Francisco, brings leaders together from around the world to celebrate climate achievements and secure commitments and action from countries to prevent global climate change and realize the Paris Agreement.
At the Summit, the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) states of California, Oregon, Washington, and the province of British Columbia, along with the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver are redoubling their commitment to lead in the fight against global climate change while expanding their clean energy economies. The impacts of extreme weather, wildfires and ocean acidification on communities along the West Coast of North America make it clear that there’s much at stake, health, homes and livelihoods, driving the need for regional collaboration to:
- reduce carbon emissions
- align building efficiency, renewable energy and organic waste systems
- integrate the region’s power grid
- develop an integrated low-carbon regional transportation system
- reduce food waste 50 percent by 2030
- build infrastructure resilience
- combat the growing threat of ocean acidification
- encourage innovation and job growth
The PCC represents the world’s fifth largest economy, a region of 55 million people with a combined GDP of $3 trillion. The PCC governments have released a Report Card that detailed their progress in developing a low-carbon future. Since 2008, regional nominal gross domestic product has grown by 32 percent while total regionwide emissions have declined more than six percent. Public and private-sector cooperation is transforming key economic sectors, putting the region on a path toward reducing emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
Statements from North American Pacific Coast Governors and Mayors
“Over the next week, we will welcome the world to the Pacific Coast and show that even those leading the climate charge can, and will, go even further,” says Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. of California.
“Meeting the challenge of climate change, while growing our economy at the same time, is a moral and economic imperative. Our region has reduced carbon pollution by 6 percent since 2005, while our economy has grown by 20 percent. The PCC’s progress toward clean energy and greater efficiency positions our economies and communities for continued success in a climate-changed future,” says Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon.
“The West Coast represents the world’s fifth largest economy and we are creating a blueprint for other regions,” says Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state. “We are building a thriving, innovative economy that combats climate change and embraces a zero-emission future. Our efforts aren’t just building a clean energy economy, they’re also creating great places to live. Our communities are growing healthier and more prosperous, and attractive to new businesses and workers.”
“Vancouver is proud to be cutting our carbon pollution while having the fastest growing, most resilient economy in Canada. We’re attracting world-leading businesses thanks in part to our focus on building a healthier, 100 percent renewably powered future,” says Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson.
“Seattle, aptly known as the Emerald City, is home to our nation’s greenest utility, and we have ambitious plans to reduce building emissions and to better connect our clean electricity with our transportation system. We are committed to this local-to-global effort to combat global climate change,” says Seattle Mayor, Jenny A. Durkan.
“Progressive and diverse cities like Oakland are increasingly where power and innovative action on climate resilience reside and I am proud to stand with more than 7,100 mayors in saying we are committed to a cleaner, greener future,” says Oakland Mayor, Libby Schaaf.
“Portland is ranked as one of the most sustainable cities in America, and we are improving our quality of life while reducing carbon pollution even as our population grows. We have decreased emissions by 19 percent (since 1990), while increasing jobs by more than 31 percent and population by 37 percent. Portland is showing the rest of the world that clean energy, sustainable development, and walkable communities mean local action is a smarter choice than federal inaction,” says Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler.
“San Francisco continues to lead in the fight against climate change and the Global Climate Action Summit is a chance for our City and other Pacific Coast communities to take another major step forward,” says San Francisco Mayor, London Breed. “San Francisco has successfully reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 1990 levels, while growing our economy by 111 percent and increasing our population by 20 percent. But in order to fully realize the ambitions of the Paris Climate Accord, we must continue to make bold commitments and accelerate actions that reduce emissions and move us towards a clean energy future. That is why, in addition to formally joining the Sierra Club’s nationwide clean energy campaign, San Francisco is committing to reducing landfill disposal by 50 percent by 2030 and ensuring all of our buildings are net-zero emissions by 2050.”
“Cities and states stand at the forefront of the fight against climate change across our country and around the world, and Los Angeles is leading the charge toward a future where our streets are free of fossil fuels, our homes are powered by clean energy, and everyone has access to cleaner air and healthier neighborhoods,” says Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti. “From putting electric buses on our roads to cutting emissions to creating good-paying jobs in the clean-tech sector, we are showing how we can grow our economy and save our planet at the same time.”