A new site Best Practices of Green Cities has launched in California. As yet Berkeley, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Jose, and Santa Monica, Marin County have joined up to introduce their environmental policies.
To be a member a city must have 1.) local sustainability plan 2.) United Nations Urban Environmental Accords 3.) Conference of Mayon Climate Protection Agreement.
Topics covered: Waste Reduction, Urban Design, Energy, Urban Nature, Transportation, Environmental Health and Water.
- Recycled Paper: In spring 2008, GCC members agreed to require that all paper purchased for city operations be 100% post consumer recycled paper. Collectively GCC jurisdictions purchase half a billion sheets of office paper annually, at a cost of $5 million. By switching to 100% recycled paper, GCC members annually save:
- 8,600,000 pounds of CO2 emissions,
- 19,600,000 gallons of water,
- 11,500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, and
- 67,000 trees
- No More Bottled Water! In the fall 2008, GCC members agreed to ban the use of city funds for bottled water, resulting in annual savings of more than $5 million.
- Promote Bans on Single Use Bags Statewide: GCC has commissioned a Master Environmental Assessment (MEA) on single use bags, following the filing of lawsuits against cities that have passed single use bag fees or bans without conducting a full Environmental Impact Review (EIR). Since an EIR is prohibitively expensive, particularly for small cities, the MEA will dramatically decrease the cost of an EIR and will facilitate fees and bans on single use bags. The MEA will be completed in March 2010.
- Collective Voice on State Legislation: The collective voice of GCC’s high performance cities has contributed to the success of legislative proposals on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and renewable energy. GCC members are currently advocating for more aggressive climate protection targets in AB32, California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act