I am pleased to announce the release of two Climate Change documents of vital importance to the future of Menlo Park as well as the broader community, and the upcoming presentation of these documents to the city council on Tuesday, November 20.
ICLEI's baseline greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report is being released this afternoon by city staff. In May, 2007, city council authorized a contract with ICLEI to assess MP's current GHG emissions using a structured and rigorous methodology. This study is the culmination of that effort.
Yesterday, the Menlo Park Green Ribbon Citizens' Committee (GRCC) released its Climate Action Report and Recommendations. Council member Heyward Robinson and I convened this committee in March, 2007. This report is the culmination of eight months of education, research, and evaluation by the committee of best practices and recommendations of practical action steps the City and the broader community might take to reduce GHG emissions.
I am so excited to receive these reports! I am really looking forward to learning more in the presentations by both ICLEI and GRCC on Nov 20, and discussing this information with my council colleagues at the public meeting. I'm so grateful for the incredibly hard work and dedication shown by both staff and the GRCC members in these efforts.
GRCC participants are a diverse group in many respects, including local business owners, environmental activists, real estate developers and Realtors, technology entrepreneurs, government administrators, landlords, teachers, scientists, and retirees.
The release of the GRCC's report marks a milestone in the continuation of an open and public greenroots/grassroots process. It marks just the beginning, should council approve such a direction, of a more formal city-led process that would include public comment, possible town hall meetings, and rigorous review and evaluation by staff and commissions.
Staff recommendations and GRCC-based recommendations may work themselves through the public process in time to be considered in the 2008-09 budget process. A number of staff-reviewed GRCC-based recommendations are already being implemented by way of the city's current 2007-08 budget.
Over 120 people have participated in some way in the GRCC. It met every two weeks in publicly-noticed plenary sessions, and generally included presentations by experts in the field of climate protection, followed by working group sessions. Speakers included Prof. Steven Schneider (member of Nobel-prize-winning IPCC), Prof. Larry Goulder (Vice Chair, AB32 Market Advisor Committee), Prof. Jim Sweeney (Director, Precourt Institue for Energy Efficiency), all of Stanford University, Winston Hickox, (Chair, AB32 Market Advisory Committee, and former Secretary of CAL-EPA), and others.
On Tuesday, Nov. 20, presentations of both reports will be made to the city council, public input will be heard, council members will express their comments, and possible direction given to staff. I encourage the public to attend, listen the presentations, and express your perspective to the council. Meeting starts at 7 p.m.
Agenda and staff reports, including a link to the ICLEI report and the executive summary of the GRCC's Climate Action Report and Recommendations will be available later this afternoon on Menlo Park's website: Web Link . The full GRCC report is available at the menlogrcc group site at Web Link . For further information, please contact Kelly Fergusson at 650-207-9334.