Governors' Global Climate Summit Creates Subnational Alliance
R-20 ─ Regions of Climate Action was established to take action now on policies to grow the green economy, create jobs, and clean the environment, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said this week during the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 3 (GGCS 3).
The subnational public-private alliance, which is represented by private, nongovernment and government bodies from such areas as Chiapas, Mexico; Gyeonggi Provincial Government, South Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and the Western Province of the Republic of Rwanda as well as several U.S. states, is designed to fast-track the development of clean technologies, climate-resilient projects and green investment, and influencing national and international policies.
“We can’t afford to wait for national and international movement. Action is needed now, and action is what we’re taking with R20,” said Schwarzenegger. “With this unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration, R20 will continue this leadership around the world and will help influence national and international action.”
During its first year, the R20 will facilitate public-private partnerships, share best practices, accelerate the development of green innovations and begin implementing clean energy demonstration projects. Within five years, the R20 aims to have at least 20 subnational governments enact comprehensive low-carbon policies and implement projects, using successful models from progressive subnational leaders as a guide.
The coalition includes an expanding and globally diverse group of subnational government members from developed and developing countries that are committed to taking real action on climate change. In addition, the R20 is partnering with organizations and individuals from the private sector, academia, national governments, international organizations and civil society to build momentum for climate action at the national and international levels. The R20 will work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to demonstrate the critical role that subnational governments play in the fight to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
“UNEP is pleased to be part of the R20 Initiative, and is committed to working with all sectors of society, including subnational governments, to help in the transition to a low carbon, green economy,” said Amy Fraenkel, director of UNEP’s Regional Office for North America.
The concept of R20 was first announced by Schwarzenegger at COP15 in Copenhagen last December. To see the list of those who signed the R20 charter, read the release on California's state government website.
In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Environment Programme and co-sponsored by UC Davis, the Summit is co-hosted by Governor Schwarzenegger, Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski. This was the third annual summit co-hosted by Schwarzenegger, which attracted more than 1,500 participants from more than 80 states, provinces, and countries.
Other collaborations from the Summit include:
- Schwarzenegger joined Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell at the Pacific Coast Collaborative Leaders Forum in announcing actions to protect the Pacific Coast environment and economy including efforts to improve the health of the Pacific Ocean and address sustainability issues such as developing infrastructure to support electric vehicles and laying the foundation for the future of high-speed rail along the Pacific Coast.
- Schwarzenegger signed a memorandum of understanding with Gov. Arnóbio Marques de Almeida Júnior from Acre, Brazil and Gov. Juan José Sabines Guerrero from Chiapas, Mexico to combat climate change and protect tropical forests.
The California governor also presented the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leaderships Award to 13 companies and organizations. Awards are given based on strength in eight specific areas: results, transferability, environmental impact, resource conservation, economic progress, innovation and uniqueness, pollution prevention and environmental justice.
“These companies are true leaders,” said California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Linda Adams. “They prove that we can make the move to a thriving green economy and that going green is good for the pocketbook and the environment.”
The recipients are:
Alameda Municipal Power (Alameda County)
Alameda Municipal Power has prevented more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering California air annually by converting methane gas at four landfill energy plants into clean, renewable energy for its residents.
Apple (Santa Clara County)
Through the development of cleaner, greener products, Apple helped eliminate more than 11,000 miles of polyvinyl chloride, 70 pounds of mercury, 7.5 million pounds of lead and 18,000 pounds of arsenic from the state's waste stream.
California Cartage Company (Los Angeles County)
The company provided hundreds of its independent owners and operators a lease-to-own option that maximizes the federal tax credit and grant funding to offset the cost of new trucks. This program has helped to reduce emissions while significantly lowering the payments on new diesel trucks.
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (San Francisco County)
The alliance’s program has provided a Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices Workbook to the industry. They have conducted more than 200 self-assessment workshops with more than 1,500 vintners and growers who have assessed their operations against 277 sustainable winegrowing criteria.
Earth Friendly Products (Orange County)
Earth Friendly Products and business practices have reduced waste from their business by 73 percent. They also produce more than 60 percent of their electricity from solar panels, reducing their carbon emissions. The company’s goal is to achieve 100 percent waste diversion by 2011 and zero emissions by 2015.
The Energy Coalition (Orange County)
The coalition’s PEAK education curriculum provides hands-on energy lessons to elementary and middle school classes. Since 2006, the PEAK program has reached more than 130 schools and 600 teachers throughout California. They partner with local utilities to host energy-saving events and conduct school energy audits, resulting in $188,000 provided to local schools for energy retrofits.
First Community Housing Casa Feliz Studios (Santa Clara County)
Casa Feliz Studios is a LEED Gold-certified green housing complex that serves low-income and developmentally disabled residents. The project is home to the Silicon Valley’s first-ever green vegetated roof top and its construction decreases energy usage, conserves water and utilizes drought-resistance landscaping.
High Mountain Fuels (Alameda County)
High Mountain Fuels, LLC’s Altamont Bio-LNG Facility has been producing up to 13,000 gallons of clean renewable Bio-LNG per day by purifying and liquefying landfill gas from the Altamont Landfill. The facility generates enough fuel for 485 of Waste Management’s LNG collection vehicles throughout California and displaces 2.5 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. It is owned and operated by a joint venture between Linde North America, part of The Linde Group, a gases and engineering company, and Waste Management, North America’s largest waste management company. Four California agencies contributed to this project, including the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
Renesas Electronics America (Placer County)
Renesas' Roseville Diversion Program successfully diverted 89 percent of its solid waste, resulting in a cost savings of $43,605 and nearly $85,000 in revenue through its various recycling programs. Their waste reduction efforts prevented 996 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere. Their water re-use project saves 15.6 million gallons of water per year and saves $72,000 annually.
San Diego Padres PETCO Park (San Diego County
The park diverted roughly 575 tons of materials from landfills and reduced costs by $65,000 by reducing trash hauling fees. They compost food scraps, provide a universal waste drop-off center, and provide daily service to the park in natural gas vehicles.
Union Pacific Railroad (Placer, Los Angeles and Riverside counties)
The railroad’s Ultra-Low Emitting Genset Locomotive Technology reduces nitrous oxide emissions by 80 percent and particulate matter by 90 percent, while using as much as 30 percent less fuel compared to current older switching locomotives. The fuel savings also translates into a 30 percent reduction of greenhouse gases.
Venida Packing Company (Tulare County)
The company installed eight acres of solar panels to offset 100 percent of its yearly power usage. The project provided more than 20,000 man hours of employment and will offset more than 45,389 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the first 25 years.
Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation (San Diego County)
The corporation’s Los Vecinos Apartments are the most efficient LEED Platinum affordable housing, multi-family development in Chula Vista that features zero-energy homes with 100 percent solar use and saves more than 1 million gallons of water annually. The development saves tenants $700-$1,100 annually in utility costs.
Recipients are selected by a large panel of evaluators including secretaries of the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Natural Resources Agency, Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, the Department of Food and Agriculture, the State and Consumer Services Agency, the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the Governor’s Office.