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“Leading Climate Innovation” – San Jose Hosts Global Climate Action Summit


The City of San Jose joined community partners and stakeholders Sept. 12 in celebrating a year of remarkable progress toward a clean and sustainable future, achievements that will serve as a foundation for even bigger things to come. City leaders gathered with advocates, nonprofits and representatives from the high-tech industry for “Leading Climate Innovation: The Silicon Valley Way,” the City’s official affiliate event of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

The event served as an opportunity to brainstorm and build relationships. Representatives from businesses like Microsoft, Adobe, ChargePoint and Supermicro talked about sustainable practices, while leaders of GRID Alternatives, Acterra and other nonprofits shared their thoughts on inclusivity.

From left: San José Community Energy Advocates chairwoman Ruth Merino, Mayor Sam Liccardo, Community Energy Deputy Director Zach Struyk, City Manager Dave Sykes and Environmental Services Director Kerrie Romanow celebrate the launch of San Jose Clean Energy.

“Leading Climate Innovation” also highlighted a string of San Jose achievements born out of vital partnerships with community leaders, nongovernmental organizations and businesses. San Jose specifically committed to the following goals:

  • Zero Waste: By 2030, San Jose and 23 other cities commit to reducing municipal waste generation by 15 percent and cutting landfill disposal in half.
  • Decarbonize buildings: By 2030, all new construction in San José will operate at net zero carbon; all buildings will reach this goal by 2050.
  • Equity: We pledge to increase action on community-led development, inclusive climate action and infrastructure projects that achieve major environmental, health, social and economic benefits, especially in low-income and vulnerable communities. 
  • Diesel Free by 2033: This pledge will eliminate the use of diesel in our fleets by 2033 and allow the adoption of policies and incentives that would affect private fleets as well. We are joined by 95 other city, county, community and business leaders in this pledge

During the event, the City ceremonially “flipped the switch” to launch San José Clean Energy, largest single-city community choice energy program in the US. SJCE began serving municipal accounts Sept. 1 and will provide 100 percent carbon-free electricity to San José residents in 2019.

San José Clean Energy will be essential to the success of Climate Smart San José, the City’s ambitious new sustainability initiative. Approved unanimously in February by the City Council, Climate Smart commits the City to hitting the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of the international Paris Agreement. Read the Environmental Services blogpost for all the details. A video provides visuals of the presentations and activities during the event at San Jose City Hall.