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San Rafael Grabs Silver for Going Green

City wins first-ever state award for measureable efforts to address climate change.

From left: Councilmember Damon Connolly, Councilmember Barbara Heller, Mayor Gary Phillips and Councilmember Andrew McCullough. Credit: City of San Rafael
From left: Councilmember Damon Connolly, Councilmember Barbara Heller, Mayor Gary Phillips and Councilmember Andrew McCullough. Credit: City of San Rafael

Many agencies and businesses talk a good game about reducing their carbon footprints.

The city of San Rafael is actually doing something about it.

The city was honored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative with a Beacon Award for Local Leadership toward Solving Climate Change.

The award was presented earlier this month during the 2013 League of California Cities Annual Conference in Sacramento.

A local presentation of the award was held at Monday night's City Council Meeting.

The Beacon Award is presented to cities and counties that achieve measurable greenhouse gas reductions, energy savings and implement sustainability best practices.

San Rafael is the first-ever winner of a Beacon Award at the Silver Level for measureable achievements including a 5 percent Agency Energy Savings (2005–2011), a 5 percent greenhouse gas reduction in government agencies and the community (from 2005–2010), and 10 completed sustainability "best practices."

“San Rafael’s accomplishments are a testimony to the effectiveness of voluntary climate action at the local level,” League of California Cities Executive Director Chris McKenzie said in a prepared statement.

“Congratulations to the city of San Rafael and its residents for your leadership and commitment to addressing climate change.”

San Rafael’s greenhouse gas reductions are the equivalent of taking nearly 7,000 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

The city also saved enough electricity in its own facilities to power approximately 44 average California homes for a year.

“The City of San Rafael is delighted to have the distinction of being the first Beacon Award winner in California. This is strong validation of our community’s sustainability efforts,” San Rafael City Council Member Damon Connolly said.

“We’re proud of the great progress that’s been made and we will continue to work closely with our community and partners in order to achieve our greenhouse gas reduction target of 25 percent by 2020 and other sustainability goals.”

 

Will other local governments follow San Rafael's lead in addressing climate change? Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

 

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