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2/11/2020



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Santa Clara VTA declares climate emergency


VTA committed to considering the impact on climate change when approving proposed policies and programs.
Photo – VTA

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Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) board last week declared a "climate emergency" and recommitted to reducing the agency's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

VTA joins over 1,300 local governments in 25 countries in declaring a climate emergency, including Santa Clara County and the cities of Cupertino and San Jose, in which VTA serves. 

The 2018 California GHG Emission Inventory estimated that a total of 429.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent were emitted in California in 2016. The transportation sector was the largest contributor of GHGs, accounting for 41 percent of total emissions, VTA officials said in a board memorandum.

As part of the declaration, the VTA board will consider the impact on climate change when approving proposed policies, programs or actions. The agency also will identify specific metrics to prioritize opportunities to reduce GHG emissions; develop a climate action plan; support legislation to avert climate change; and join other stakeholders in reducing GHG emissions in transportation. 

Also last week, VTA General Manager Nuria Fernandez announced plans for a youth summit that will advocate for fighting climate change, VTA officials said in a press release.

So far, partners for the summit include Silicon Valley Youth Climate Action, The Mineta Transportation Institute, VTA Chair Cindy Chavez and Board Member Dave Cortese.



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