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Opinion Piece: San Leandro's Climate Action Plan

By Fona Ou

The San Leandro City Council voted to approve the Public Hearing Draft of the Climate Action Plan this summer, with all the council members voicing their support for climate action, and the sustainability manager of San Leandro, Dr. Mok, stating that the Climate Action Plan would put us on the road to reduce GHG emissions by the 2030 targets. This plan, supported by the Planning Commission and many of the public comments for the Public Review Draft, urges the city to use more language for climate actions such as infrastructure improvements, reach codes for building electrification, a master tree plan, expanding air quality monitoring around the community, and updating the CAP in 5 years with the Resident Advisory Committee.

San Leandro is bordered by flood hazard zones, as well as fire-hazard zones, and like many other communities around the Bay Area, San Leandro is increasingly impacted by climate change. We face more frequent and historic droughts, extreme heat days, and the effects of wildfires.

I have looked through the various strategies identified in the Climate Action Plan, and believe our city should emphasize prioritizing efforts in increasing energy efficiency and fuel efficiency. This includes promoting electrification amongst landlords, property owners, and new development. Not only are these strategies short to medium-term time frames, but they are valuable because they are lower in staff time requirement. Despite this, they yield some of the highest results in GHG reduction by 2030.

We need to ensure that the City of San Leandro moves forward on actual climate action and that the approval of the San Leandro Climate Action Plan and the other comments made by the City Council isn’t just another document but a blueprint for action. We urge residents to attend City Council meetings to push for tangible climate action. We desperately need to reduce our GHG emissions in San Leandro, as we are not immune to the dangers of the climate crisis. I urge everyone to call on the City of San Leandro to continue to act on the climate crisis beyond approving the Public Hearing Draft of the Climate Action Plan. The residents of San Leandro deserve a livable San Leandro in the unprecedented reality of the climate crisis.

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