A discussion on the updating of the Fremont Climate Action Plan (CAP 2.0) which targets a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. 

Haritha Rajasekar

Staff Writer

     For the past several years, policy-makers worldwide have attempted to implement sustainable practices into their respective communities. Global climate change has resulted in some of the most detrimental natural disasters, and governments are oftentimes the only power to force the addition of sustainable practices. 

     In Fremont specifically, as mentioned in Fremont’s Climate Action Plan community workshop, “[the] Bay Area’s average annual maximum temperature increased by 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit” and the “sea level in the Bay Area has risen over 8 inches (20 cm) in the last 100 years.” With these challenges being faced by Bay Area residents, an action plan seems almost compulsory to alleviate the adverse effects of climate change. 

     According to the city’s “Resolution No. 19-03,” the city of Fremont accepted a resolution to achieve carbon neutrality in the community by the year 2045, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by the year 2030. In the first climate action plan, Fremont aimed to reduce emissions as well; to do this, according to the City of Fremont website, Fremont focused on, “improving bike and pedestrian infrastructure, upgrading City streetlights with high-efficiency LEDs, requiring all businesses to recycle, and establishing mandatory solar requirements for new residential construction.” 

     The new resolution lists seven key strategies that will be utilized to achieve these goals: (1) Clean & Renewable Energy; (2) Electrification & Fossil Fuel Phase-Out; (3) Carbon Sequestration; (4) Mobility & Connectivity; (5) Resource Conservation & Elimination of Waste; (6) Restorative Ecology & Green Infrastructure; (7) Climate Adaptation & Resilience. The city will utilize these seven strategies as a catalyst to accomplish the goal of carbon neutrality in Fremont. 

     Preetha Chavali (11), a student of AP Environmental Science, felt that the updated action plan is essential to Fremont’s progress. She says, “It’s super important that we make Fremont better environmentally. I’m glad the city is going to do something about the challenges the environment is facing and we’re obviously going to grow through this experience.”

     Like Chavali, Amanda Tran (11), another AP Environmental Science student, was overjoyed when she heard of the goals set forth by the plan. She said, “When I first heard about the goals of the plan from a friend, I was really so happy. I just can’t wait to see a world that really gets respect from us.”

A photo derived from the City of Fremont website encouraging community outreach and input for the Climate Action Plan. As Amanda Tran (11) states, “Community outreach is the most important part of building a plan so necessary.”

      Now, achieving the goals set forth by the city requires more than just government action–it necessitates support and assistance from every Fremont citizen. As delineated by City of Fremont’s website, “Climate action is a team sport, and community participation is key to the success of the City’s climate change goals in the near and long term.”

     Some ways to help include attending the community workshops hosted by the city, discussing progress through the online community forum CAP Consider It, participating in the Fremont Green Challenge, and adopting sustainable practices in your own homes. 

    Resolution 2019-03 also puts forth the guiding values that will drive Fremont into a carbon-neutral community. The values include equity, access, efficiency, innovation, health, wellness, resilience, and capacity building. With these prominent values, the process to building a more sustainable Fremont aims to be one that enhances the community while ensuring that all citizens have the same ability to benefit from it. 

     The city also plans for a series of conversations with the community in an effort to spread more awareness on the resolution. These “Climate Talk Weeks” which will take place from February 1st-February 5th through Zoom, aim to bridge the gap between the climate experts and the community. 

     From the Green New Deal to the persistent efforts of climate-activist Greta Thunberg, the implementation of sustainable practices into government has been a long but much needed struggle. C.A.P 2.0 presents a sense of optimism for students at American and puts emphasis on climate action and advocacy. Learn more about C.A.P 2.0 and how the community can participate at the City of Fremont’s website. 

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