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Friday, November 4, 2011

The sweetest, greenest spot on the planet

Interesting article from Terra Pass on one US city's tremendous work in reducing emissions.  On the surface, a great model for all cities, in every part of the world.

That ciity is...San Francisco. How is this for some progress:  "On October 19, Mayor Ed Lee announced that San Francisco has already achieved a 12 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels, amidst an increasing population and an increase in electricity consumption. This is an extraordinary accomplishment - it surpasses the Kyoto target of 7 percent reduction by 2012 as well as the recently passed AB 32 measure calling for a return to 1990 levels. If you’re more numbers-inclined, check out these pretty bar charts (.pdf) and graphs (.pdf)."

Now, the article does a great job of going past the basic stats and looks at how they did it, and how easy would it be for other cities to replicate their success.  The answers, in fact, are not so easy and predictable.  Here's more:  "But a small concern. I can’t help but wonder, does San Francisco (and California) have an unfair advantage over other cities? To answer that, we should take a look at how SF got where it has...
1. “The largest contributing factor to the carbon reductions was the closure of the City’s two remaining inefficient natural gas power plants at Hunter’s Point in 2006 and Potrero last year.”
Getting rid of dirty power. It’s certainly not an easy step, and like everything else, comes with a price - so the economics will vary from city to city. But this isn’t unique to SF.
2. “San Francisco’s electricity mix is growing increasingly cleaner. Electricity for the City’s municipal operations comes primarily from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s carbon-free Hetch Hetchy hydroelectric system in the Sierras, and approximately seven megawatts of solar projects on municipal facilities around the City.”
To read more, go to:

Thank you Terra Pass for a great article that merits lots of thought.  We applaud San Francisco's leadership while maintaining a vibrant, solid economy.  To us, that is the trick...that is "the business 
side of green".

Later today or tomorrow we will be back with some more interesting graphs and data, as promised yesterday.  

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