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San Francisco Joins Dozens of Cities Calling for Climate Change Action

Sea-level Rise Threatens Bay Area Airports, Power Plants, Coastal Wetlands


By: Center for Biological Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO October 17, 2012 -San Francisco has joined more than three dozen other cities in urging national leaders to use the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to head off catastrophic climate change. The city's board of supervisors unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Supervisors David Chiu and Jane Kim Tuesday afternoon, making San Francisco the 38th U.S. city to join the Center for Biological Diversity's national Clean Air Cities campaign.

"San Francisco's Climate Action Plan has made our city a leader in the battle against global warming, but we also support strong federal action to combat the problem," said David Chiu, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who introduced the Clean Air Cities resolution. "We're proud to join Los Angeles and more than 35 other cities in backing use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution."

"Climate change poses major risks to our city's economy and public health," said Jane Kim, who cosponsored the resolution. "We must continue to protect our most vulnerable residents from extreme heat dangers, in addition to protecting key infrastructure like our airport from sea-level rise. That's why we support the Clean Air Act, which controls carbon pollution — the root of this dangerous problem."

"I'm proud of our city's leaders for acknowledging climate change's dangers and supporting use of the Clean Air Act to fight carbon pollution," said Kaylah Sterling, a San Francisco resident who championed the resolution. "San Francisco has joined communities around the country, from Los Angeles to Miami, in pressing the federal government for quick action. To head off catastrophic climate change, we have to move fast. I am also very grateful to the Center for Biological Diversity, which is working diligently to care for the Earth's environment and its inhabitants."

San Francisco is extremely vulnerable to the effects of sea-level rise driven by climate change. Most of the California coast will experience more than three feet of sea-level rise within this century, according to a recent report from the U.S. National Research Council; a large earthquake could cause sea level to rise suddenly by another three feet or more.

Sea-level rise threatens San Francisco Airport, as well as low-lying wastewater treatment plants, power plants and highways around the Bay Area, according to a white paper released earlier this year by the California Energy Commission; coastal wetlands and other key wildlife habitat are also at risk. The California Energy Commission report also predicted that climate change will threaten the state's water supply and bring an increase in extreme heat events.

The Center's Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in Albany, N.Y.; Berkeley, Santa Monica, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Cambridge and Northampton, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa and Gulfport, Fl.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; and Detroit, Mich.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Gary, Ind., and Woodbridge, N.J. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center's Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.


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