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Sustainable Development Update
September 12, 2018

Sustainable Development Focus

San Francisco mayor announces new environmental initiatives

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER - Sep 5 San Francisco Mayor London Breed last Wednesday announced new clean energy initiatives and trumpeted the city’s past environmental accomplishments in advance of the Global Climate Action Summit, which will take place at the Moscone Convention Center. San Francisco has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 1990 levels, she said, all while the economy grew by 111 percent and the population increased by 20 percent. Mayor Breed announced new initiatives to cut landfill disposal in half and move all electricity generation to renewables by 2030, ensure all buildings have net-zero emissions by 2050, and issue more green bonds to finance new infrastructure projects.

States could save $16B annually through energy efficiency policies

UTILITY DIVE - Sep 5 As the federal government slows progress on energy efficiency standards, it has created a void where states can implement policies that potentially save customers $16 billion annually across 21 products by 2035, according to analysis by Natural Resources Defense Council and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP). The biggest opportunities lie in water-saving efficiency standards, but there are also improvements to be had in computer equipment, fans, motors and compressors, and other electronic equipment. This year, several states considered energy efficiency legislation, but only Vermont enacted a new law. ASAP estimates the state's new measures could save consumers $17 million a year by 2025.

San Jose receives LEED Platinum certification in environmental sustainability

SFGATE - Sep 10 San Jose has received LEED Platinum certification in a pilot program for green cities offered by the U.S. Green Building Council, council officials said. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a distinction awarded to cities that reduce carbon emissions, ensure clean air and water, and focus on "green" buildings and sustainable development. The distinction recognizes three specific San Jose projects: the city's Zero Waste Strategic Plan, the city's new transit metric, Vehicle Miles Traveled, and Climate Smart San Jose, a plan to reduce air pollution and save water among other healthy aims. San Jose is the first city in California to receive the certification, and it will receive a grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation along with five other cities in the United States.

DeYoung announces new net zero housing development

THE BUSINESS JOURNAL - Sep 6 Fresno-based De Young Properties has announced its third and largest “zero net energy” subdivision. The new 58-home development in Clovis, De Young RidgeView, will be the largest grid-connected, zero net energy single-family community in California. Energy efficiencies built into the homes, along with solar panels, will allow them to potentially generate at least as much electricity as they would use were they solely on the electric grid. DeYoung announced just over a year ago plans for its first net zero subdivision, the 36-home EnVision, which at the time was set to be the largest such development, east of Clovis.

Carbon offsets for urban trees are on the horizon

CITYLAB - Aug 28 A recent paper by two U.S. Forest Service scientists reported that metropolitan areas in the U.S. are losing about 36 million trees each year. The paper was an expansion of an earlier 2012 study that found significant tree loss in 17 out of the 20 U.S. cities studied. To find more funding for urban trees, some local governments, including Austin, Texas, and King County, Washington, are running pilot projects with a Seattle-based nonprofit called City Forest Credits. The nonprofit is developing a new approach: generating funding for city tree canopies from private companies (and individuals) that wish to offset their carbon emissions by buying credits for tree planting or preservation. The new credits aim to quantify not only the carbon benefits of urban trees, but also rainfall interception, energy savings from cooling and heating effects, and air-quality benefits.

San Francisco wants to use old retrofit bond money to preserve affordable housing

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - Sep 11 It could soon be possible for San Francisco officials to loan out $260 million in unused bond money to preserve and expand the city’s affordable-housing stock. On Tuesday, Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced legislation that would give the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development the ability to issue loans to people and organizations seeking to acquire and rehabilitate affordable units. Officials hope that about 1,500 affordable units that might otherwise be sold and rented out at vastly higher market rates will be preserved. Breed and Peskin’s ordinance will need approval from the Board of Supervisors, which also must approve the issuance of any new bonds tied to the program.

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Chine Jeffrey A Jeffrey A. Chine
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