San Francisco Mayor London Breed kicked off the start of Earth Month on April 1 by announcing major milestones in the city’s effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking outside of The New Wheel bicycle shop in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, Breed said the city’s community energy program CleanPowerSF is set to enroll 250,000 more customers by the end of April, bringing the total number of enrollees to 360,000.
Created in 2016, CleanPowerSF provides electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, biogas and small-hydro.
“From the devastating forest fires throughout our state, to the historic flooding that is affecting our friends in the north, we know that climate change has real-life and tragic consequences that will only get worse if we don’t act,” Breed said.
“When you combine all of these new residents and businesses being powered by CleanPowerSF, with places like City Hall and the airport, which already have 100 percent green Hetch Hetchy power, the city will meet 80 percent of its electricity demand in San Francisco. That’s 80 percent of the city receiving clean, renewable energy from a local utility with public oversight. How amazing is that?” she said.
Breed also said she hopes to have the entire city running on renewable energy by 2050.
“Those are really bold commitments, but in San Francisco, over the years, we have backed up all of our talk with a lot of action,” she said.
Delivering another major announcement for the first day of Earth Month, Breed said, “I’m proud to announce San Francisco has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions 36 percent below 1990 levels.
“This reduction has exceeded expectations and has happened at the same time that the city increased its population by 22 percent and our economy has increased by 166 percent,” she said.
Breed also declared the launch of San Francisco’s Inaugural Month of Climate Action, with the San Francisco Department of Environment unveiling a new online database listing environmental activities happening throughout the city this month. That database can be found at www.sfenvironment.org/climateaction.
“Taking care of our planet is not just about signing up for CleanPowerSF and other great policies, it’s also about the great work to take care of our environment,” she said.
With PG&E having recently filed for bankruptcy amid accusations that the public utility company is responsible for recent Northern California wildfires, city leaders have been pushing for residents to sign up for CleanPowerSF.
Residents and business that sign up are automatically enrolled in CleanPowerSF’s Green program, which is made up of 48 percent renewable energy sources. Additionally, for a few more dollars a month, residents and businesses can opt in to the SuperGreen program, which provides 100 percent renewable energy.
The New Wheel, which specializes in electric bicycles, is a customer of CleanPowerSF’s SuperGreen program.
“We really are so optimistic about the future of San Francisco and the future of our earth because we know that the choices that we make, make a big difference,” said Karen Wiener, co-owner of The New Wheel.
Story originally published by Bay City News.