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Sacramento city council talks climate action plan, possible future changes

The plan is a “crucial step in the city’s long-standing efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” according to the document and will lower carbon emissions

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento City Council is working toward building a greener capitol city with the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, a project years in the making. 

The plan is a “crucial step in the city’s long-standing efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” according to the document, and will “position Sacramento to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while adapting to the inevitable impacts that are already taking place.”

Plenty of young people filled the city council chambers Tuesday to voice their thoughts about the 300 page document. 

“We’re the next big generation you know, we have a future ahead of us and everything,” said high school sophomore Brandon Sanchez. 

According to a special report by the International Panel on Climate Change, to avoid the most destructive and costly impacts of climate change, the world must achieve carbon neutrality by about 2050. 

Some impacts are “increasingly hazardous conditions for life on Earth, including increased heat waves, wildfires, drought, extreme storms, flooding, and sea level rise,” according to the report.

One large change people suggested they’d be interested in during the meeting was reducing car usage and making the city more pedestrian and bike friendly.

“Back in the old days, you always see in the movies how people are always walking on the streets. There’s always everyone on the sidewalks. But with cars, it kind of separates that,” said Sanchez. 

Cars are a major contributor and producer of greenhouse gas emissions, leading to the city to suggest “improving active transportation infrastructure, promoting Zero Emission Vehicle adoption, electrifying buildings, reducing GHG emissions from organic waste, and sequestering carbon by increasing urban tree canopy cover citywide” as a few changes to reach carbon neutrality by 2045. 

Dave Talbert gets around on his bicycle and says it’s a very reliable means of transportation. He's also wondering what he could do to help the climate crisis.  

“For climate change, about the only solution I can say is [my bike]. I’m not burning any gasoline and to get on your bicycle, if you’re not doing it, start doing it one day a week,” he said. “The industry is changing. Everybody is on hybrids now, and bikes that have motors, so I think people are just kind of gearing towards that anyways."

This report was years in the making and came after the mayors of Sacramento and West

Sacramento created a commission in 2019 on climate change to figure out how to become carbon neutral by 2045. 

Find the full document HERE

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