San Francisco Mayor Issues Roadmap to a Greener City

SAN FRANCISCO, California, January 17, 2008 (ENS) – San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Tuesday released SForward, the roadmap to achieve his environmental goal of a 20 percent decrease in emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide below 1990 levels by 2010.

The plan also aims to achieve carbon neutrality for city government by 2020.

SForward incorporates the environmental goals, programs and strategies of all key city departments, including the Public Utilities Commission, Municipal Transportation Authority, Department of Public Works, and the Recreation and Parks Department.

“San Francisco’s environmental future is already unfolding,” said Mayor Newsom. “When fully realized, the San Francisco of the future will be a place where words like ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ are meaningless, because it will simply be understood that any action includes best practices for the environment.”

SForward identifies six policy areas that will be developed – renewable and efficient energy, clean transportation, green buildings, urban forest, zero waste, and environmental justice.

The plan also highlights programs that are working now – such as San Francisco’s successful recycling efforts and recent biodiesel conversion efforts of food waste, as well as new ideas such as solar incentives and a local carbon offset program.

The plan looks toward changing municipal policies, such as the General Plan, as well as individual departmental strategic plans and seeks ways that the city can incorporate climate action in all initiatives.

The city’s strategies to develop new local climate change policy to address climate change include:

* Creating a San Francisco Carbon Fund for local green activities designed to mitigate or offset greenhouse gas emissions.

* Developing framework for a carbon tax, which may serve as an alternative to payroll taxes for San Francisco businesses.

* Incorporating climate protection criteria into the City’s General Plan and into departmental plans, activities and performance measures.

* Working with Peak Oil Task Force to maximize synergies between climate action and the development of the City’s approach to Peak Oil.

The plan includes encouragement for the installation of more solar power. The city will provide subsidies and loans to homeowners and businesses that install solar panels.

By 2010, San Francisco would
cut greenhouse gases by 20
percent below 1990 levels
under the new SForward plan.
(Photo courtesy

To get San Franciscans out of their cars, the mayor proposes building key transportation projects including the Transbay Terminal and the Central Subway. He plans to expanding “SF Go,” a transportation management system to improve public transit.

The mayor says he will ensure that the required planning on the San Francisco Bike Plan is completed and greatly expand the City’s bicycle network.

The SForward plan includes bicycle-sharing options in new bus shelter programs.

Car-sharing will be encouraged and the mayor plans to designate 500 parking spaces for car-share vehicles.

To coincide with the launch of SForward, Mayor Newsom submitted legislation that will prohibit use of the outdated, environmentally costly T-12 lightbulb, and encourage transition to the T-8 bulb.

The T-8 lighting tubes are up to 40 percent more energy efficient, and have improved color, less heat, and less noise than the older fluorescent lamps.

The value of replacing the T-12 tubes is calculated that if all the remaining older fluorescent lights in the city were replaced with this new T-8 lighting technology, it would save enough energy to power 7,200 local residences or eliminate 16,500 tons of carbon dioxide.

To assist with these new requirements, funding is available to help with the conversion to more energy efficient light bulbs.

The SF Energy Watch Program has nearly $4 million to offer to local businesses to help with energy efficiency conversions. It provides incentive programs, training, education, and technical assistance for small businesses and residential customers.

The SForward plan is based on the work of the San Francisco Commission on the Environment, an advisory body which sets policy for the Department of the Environment and advises the mayor and Board of Supervisors on environmental matters.

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