Berkeley has a long history of green innovation including curbsiderecycling, greener vehicle fleets, and a polystyrene foam ban twodecades ago. In July, Berkeley was been named a 2010 Smarter City for Energy. Berkeley documented a measurable decline in greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions since 2002. The city had a 14 percent decrease in itsemissions in 2005 from 2002 levels—more than double the reductionscalled for in the Kyoto Protocol.
The reduction was theequivalent of planting 52,000 trees or removing 450 cars from the road.Measure G, a city effort for citizens to help reduce the city’s GHGemissions by 80 percent by 2050, was approved by 81 percent of voters in November 2006.
The city recently released it’s 2009 Climate Action Plan, along with a summary of progress toward it’s carbon reduction goals.Berkeley is aggressively seeking to bring green business to thecommunity. Working with the University of California, Berkeley, theLawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and neighboring mayors, MayorTom Bates was a founding member of the East Bay Green CorridorPartnership and created Sustainable Berkeley with over 100representatives from business, community, city and university arenas.
Mayor Bates also created a photovoltaic financing program known as Berkeley FIRST, a pilot project that allows residents to pay for solar installations as a voluntary long-term assessment on their property tax bill.