Borough Council Climate Resolution



WHEREAS, the first United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the first Earth Summit, was held in 1992 and attended by 108 Heads of State from around the world for the purpose of discussing the effects of global warming; and

WHEREAS, in December 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was formalized as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, setting mandatory targets for reduction of greenhouses gases for signatory nations; and,

WHEREAS, on February 16, 2005, the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to address climate disruption, went into effect in the 141 countries that have ratified it to date; 38 of those countries are now legally required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on average 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012; and

WHEREAS, to date the United States has not yet become a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol; and

WHEREAS, in June 2005, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted strong policy resolutions calling for cities, communities and the federal government to take local actions to reduce global warming pollution; and

WHEREAS, in December 2005, the Municipal Leaders Summit on Climate Change, with 37 countries participating, also asserted the need for global action and the development of local initiatives; and

WHEREAS, the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international community’s most respected assemblage of scientists, has found that climate disruption is a reality and that human activities are largely responsible for increasing concentrations of global warming pollution; and

WHEREAS, recent, well-documented impacts of climate disruption include average global sea level increases of four to eight inches during the 20th century; a 40 percent decline in Arctic seaice thickness; and nine of the ten hottest years on record occurring in the past decade; and

WHEREAS, climate disruption of the magnitude now predicted by the scientific community will cause extremely costly disruption of human and natural systems throughout the world including: increased risk of floods or droughts; sea level rises that interact with coastal storms to erode beaches, inundate land, and damage structures; more frequent and extreme heat waves; more frequent and greater concentrations of smog; and

WHEREAS, the United States, with less than five percent of the world’s population, is currently generating approximately 25 percent of the world’s global warming pollutants; and

WHEREAS, the Kyoto Protocol emissions reduction target for the US would have been 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012; and

WHEREAS, many leading U.S. companies that have adopted greenhouse gas reduction programs to demonstrate corporate social responsibility have also publicly expressed preference for the U.S. to adopt precise and mandatory emissions targets and timetables as a means by which to remain competitive in the international marketplace, to mitigate financial risk and to promote sound investment decisions; and

WHEREAS, state and local governments throughout the United States are adopting emission reduction targets and programs and that this leadership is bipartisan, coming from Republican and Democratic governors and mayors alike; and

WHEREAS, many municipalities throughout the nation, both large and small, are reducing global warming pollutants through programs that provide economic and quality of life benefits such as reduced energy bills, green space preservation, air quality improvements, reduced traffic congestion, improved transportation choices, and economic development and job creation through energy conservation and new energy technologies; and

WHEREAS, a Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Mitigation Action Plan has been prepared at the request of members of the State College Borough Council in order to enable the Council to determine what actions collectively could be taken in the Centre Region to address the impact of global warming; and

WHEREAS much can be accomplished by the Borough of State College to reduce greenhouse emissions, to wit

a) Urging our federal and state governments to enact policies and programs to reduce global warming pollution levels, including efforts to reduce the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate the development of clean, economical energy resources and fuel-efficient technologies such as conservation, end-use efficiency, demand-side management, wind and solar energy, wave and tidal energy, fuel cells, efficient motor vehicles, and bio-fuels; and

b) Urging the U.S. Congress to pass bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation that includes clear timetables and emissions limits.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Borough of State College is hereby declared to be a Climate Protection Community, endorses the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement as amended by the 73 rd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors and urges municipalities from around the world to join this effort, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the State College Borough Council commits to a Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Initiative goal, to lead the community by example and to implement policies to reduce net emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by the end of 2012 by 10% from 1990 levels, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that as a public-private partnership, the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Initiative shall feature the Borough Government as a key stakeholder in a comprehensive community greenhouse gas reduction effort, which shall include institutions, businesses, civic organization, and individual families and residents, and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Borough of State College shall create an Office of Sustainability to coordinate and implement the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Initiative, insofar as funds, voluntary efforts, or other resources become available, in particular, working to partner with efforts of governments, agencies, institutions and other appropriate public and private organizations in our region, and to track the progress and implementation of the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement.

Additionally, the office shall assist the Borough by:

• Obtaining and periodically updating a baseline inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in the Borough, including recommended targets and timetables

• Developing and implementing the Local Climate Protection Action Plan, including measuring, verifying and reporting performance, and

• Establishing recommendations for local Green Building initiatives

• Educating the public, schools, other jurisdictions, professional associations, business and industry about reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

• Making energy efficiency a priority throughout the Borough government by educating employees, evaluating building mechanical systems, and urging employees to conserve energy and save money.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Borough Council hereby establishes the following municipal goals:

1. By 2012, through the recycling of plastics, metals, glass, organic waste, electronics, etc, reduce residual waste (land filled material) to 35% of the total waste stream.

2. By 2016, 20% of the Borough’s passenger car fleet should be composed of the most energy-efficient models available.

3. By 2012, use B-30 diesel (70% diesel petroleum, 30% bio-diesel) for all Borough heavy equipment and trucks."

4. By 2010, establish a network of off-street and on-street designated bike lanes throughout the community.

5. By 2010, incorporate sustainable construction and demolition practices into Borough ordinances, including the requirement of LEED certifications. By 2010, all municipally owned construction shall be LEED Gold or Silver certified.

6. By 2012, eliminate the use of non-biological spray insecticides by the Borough. Additionally, reduce the use of all fertilizers and herbicides by 50% from 2007 levels.

7. By 2009, establish purchasing policies which give preference to products with 50% or more recycled content.

8. By 2015, establish a free transit service within the Borough.

9. By 2012, eliminate the use of incandescent bulbs in all Borough facilities.

10. By 2012, reduce the existing impervious area within the Borough by 2% through zoning incentives, innovative surface treatments, street narrowing, and other best management practices.

11. By 2012, establish incentives for the installation of green roofs, rainwater cisterns, and other best management practices to reduce urban runoff.

12. By 2009, adopt an anti-engine idling ordinance.

13. By 2012, complete a review and implement changes to land use policies as necessary to reduce urban sprawl, preserve open space, and create a compact, walkable community.

14. Effective immediately, purchase only Energy Star appliances for Borough facilities.

15. By 2012, purchase 20% of energy used by the Borough from “green” power sources.

16. By January 2008 establish a procedure for regular reporting of progress under this resolution to Borough Council and the community.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Borough Council hereby establishes the following community goals to be achieved through education and promotion:

17. By 2012, as a community, reduce electricity usage by 10% from 2000 levels.

18. By 2012, as a community, increase the percentage of residents walking, biking, or using transit to commute to work by 10% over 2007 levels.

18. By 2012, as a community, 15% of all personal vehicles shall be equipped with the most energy-efficient technology.

20. By 2012, as a community, less than 25% of residents commute via single occupancy vehicle.

21. By 2015, as a community, purchase 20% of all electricity from “green” power sources.

RESOLVED, This 20th day of August, 2007, by the Council of the Borough of State College.