In recognition of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary later this year, Santa Clara County, Earth Day Network, and the Foundation for Climate Restoration call on all cities and counties to adopt Climate Restoration by launching the “Local Governments for Climate Restoration Campaign.”
Supervisor Dave Cortese’s Climate Restoration Emergency Resolution, approved by County Executives in August 2019, was the first of its kind in the nation and called for the immediate mobilization of resources and labor at a massive scale and at every level – local, state, national, international, social, industrial, and economic – to halt, reverse, mitigate, restore, and prepare for the consequences of our climate emergency and to ensure the survival and flourishing of humanity and our natural world–for future generations. Climate restoration includes natural and technological solutions—that are safe, scalable, financeable, and permanent—to remove the excess trillion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.
“The global implementation required to respond to this climate humanitarian crisis will occur one individual at a time; one town at a time; one city at a time, one county or province at a time, until we have knit together a global climate restoration movement that is unstoppable,” said Supervisor Cortese as he called on local governments across the globe to follow the lead of Santa Clara County and also declare a Climate Restoration Emergency.
“Our planet, our livelihoods and the livelihoods of generations to come are at stake,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network. “Cities and counties are on the frontlines of climate change — both its impacts, and its solutions. It is inspiring to see Supervisor Cortese and Santa Clara County meeting our climate crisis with both urgency and scale, and we hope to see local leaders around the world stepping up and mobilizing under the Climate Restoration Emergency Resolutions, leading by example within their own communities.”
Santa Clara County is creating the blueprint for cities and counties to follow. With climate restoration as the underlying framework, all jurisdictions can pledge that 100 percent of their electrical power originates from clean renewable sources, that they commit to Building Electrification “Reach Codes” that call for all-electric buildings and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure during the new construction process, and that they incorporate carbon-negative building materials, including low embodied emissions in concrete to restore our atmospheric carbon dioxide to preindustrial levels. In rural settings, Santa Clara County is developing a first-of-its-kind Agricultural Resilience Incentive grant program that will galvanize the participation of agricultural communities in climate restoration.
“Climate Restoration is an essential component of our global climate plan,” said Rick Parnell, CEO, Foundation for Climate Restoration. “We have the technologies available today, that once at scale, can remove the excess trillion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050. Now is the time to let people know that we can and must restore the climate to ensure the survival of the human species.”
“The U.S. movement to solve our planetary climate crisis is driven by local action,” said Angie Fyfe, Local Governments for Sustainability USA Executive Director, ICLEI. “We commend Supervisor Cortese for his leadership and acknowledge the County staff, citizens and businesses of Santa Clara County for their contributions towards achieving ambitious climate goals. We hope this announcement will inspire other cities and counties to be bold in their climate action!”
The Press Conference was attended by partnering groups: Silicon Valley Youth Climate Action, Bay Area for Clean Environment, ICLEI-USA, Elders Climate Action, Environmental Studies Department-San Jose State University, Los Gatos Plant-Based Advocates, The California Native Garden Foundation, and Cool Silicon Valley.