Sustainability and Climate Action Summit a Rousing Success!


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Sustainability and Climate Action Summit a Rousing Success!


Thank you for joining us for Palo Alto’s first Sustainability and Climate Action Summit.

CM Filseth

More than 300 people (and all nine councilmembers) contributed almost five hours of their time on a sunny Sunday afternoon on January 24 (with two key football games competing!) to explore and help shape the future of Palo Alto, and our response to some of the biggest challenges in the world today. Mayor Pat Burt set the tone and aspiration for the day. We had a stirring video keynote and virtual Q&A with Col. Mark “Puck” Mykleby (USMC, Retired) on the pivotal relevance of climate and the “grand strategy” he co-authored for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He talked about the major opportunities presented by “regenerative agriculture, walkable communities and the resource productivity revolution," the importance of local action, and the value of Palo Alto's leadership. Chief Sustainability Officer Gil Friend walked participants through the salient elements of the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan.  City Manager Jim Keene summarized the day and sent everyone off with a call to action and a hint of some new programs to come.  

But the heart of the day was you—40 tables of people, in a world café process, grappling creatively with the challenges of transportation, energy and water.

Many community members joined us the following night for a rich study session with the City Council—which included a great presentation by Professor Stefan Heck of Stanford on the future of transportation, energy and buildings, followed by a two-plus hour discussion of the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan. Council was open to a discussion of the bold “80x30" goal—reducing Palo Alto’s emissions 80% (from 1990 levels) by 2030, 20 years ahead of California’s target!

We’re now working to schedule possible additional study sessions with the Council, as well as an action meeting to determine goals and key strategies.

Here are some key resources:

We’ll post the Summit videos, and distillation of the dialogs, as soon as they’re available.


Get involved. Stay in touch.

If you’re on this mailing list, you’ll get regular updates on our progress. If you’d like more frequent news and perspectives, follow CSO Gil Friend on Twitter at @PaloAltoCSO

And if you’d like to get more involved in Palo Alto’s sustainability and climate action future, please indicate your interests here.

Thank you, as always, for your concern and commitment.