SF hits goal for carbon emissions 

San Francisco has significantly reduced its carbon footprint during the last two years, meeting the standards set by the Kyoto Protocol.

Mayor Gavin Newsom this week announced that The City is 7 percent below the 1990 emissions levels. That includes analysis of data through 2008, the latest information on local emissions available.

The mayor announced this achievement during his annual Mayor’s Earth Day breakfast, during which he also touted programs and legislation that’s helped usher in a reduction in greenhouse gases, including converting The City’s taxicab fleet to clean fuel. This month, the mayor launched a green finance program that loans money to property owners to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.

“We are very proud,” Newsom said. “In that last two years, we have really stepped up our efforts.”

In 1997, more than 160 nations met in Kyoto, Japan, to negotiate binding limitations on greenhouse gases for the developed nations. The result of this meeting was the Kyoto Protocol, where nations agreed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. The United States agreed to reduce emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration, though the country has never ratified the protocol and therefore does not follow the guidelines.

In 2002, San Francisco joined hundreds of other U.S. cities committing to at minimum adhere to the Kyoto Protocol.

Although The City has met an international target, Newsom noted that San Francisco’s goal goes far beyond the Kyoto accord. The City has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, said Johanna Gregory Partin, director of climate protection initiatives for the Mayor’s Office.

“It’s a very aggressive goal,” Gregory Partin said. “We are working on it.”

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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