City of Sacramento takes significant steps to address climate change

The City of Sacramento has taken significant steps to address climate change through investments in transit, housing policies that encourage infill and new requirements for environmentally sustainable buildings.

City staff outlined the steps recently in a presentation to the City Council on May 2.

While acknowledging that much work remains to be done, Climate Action Lead Jennifer Venema shared efforts that have made the City of Sacramento a leader in the region when it comes to addressing climate change on the local level.

“Much work remains to be done,” said Venema. “City Council has elevated climate as a priority, we have established a strong foundation and advanced critical initiatives for carbon neutrality.”

“Sacramento has been a leader among local jurisdictions,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Our housing policies alone, for example, are creating thousands of new units in walkable neighborhoods close to transit. I am very proud of the work done by our climate action team.”

Here are key updates from the presentation:

Transit: City staff led the way in securing $76.8 million for regional rail, bus, and transportation improvements for the Sacramento Valley Station in the last two years. Expanding the Sacramento Valley Station into an intermodal hub is a critical piece of the Sacramento region’s goal of reaching carbon zero by 2045.

Electrification: Powering HVAC systems, water heaters and appliances with electricity rather than gas cuts greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the release of toxic gases in homes. Sacramento is one of the first 100 cities in the nation to require that 100 percent of new buildings be electrified by the end of this decade. Since Jan. 1, the City of Sacramento has issued 40 permits for new buildings that will be powered entirely by electricity, Venema said.

Active transportation: Three different projects totaling $49 million that will make it easier to bike, walk and scoot in Sacramento are currently under development: the Del Rio Trail, the Downtown Mobility Update, and the Complete Streets Broadway project.

In 2016, there were no protected bike lanes in the city. We now have more than 2.3 miles of separated bikeways in the Central City, approximately 1 mile of separated bikeway on Franklin Boulevard from Mack Road south into Elk Grove and 4 miles of buffered bike lanes on Mack Road, Elvas Avenue and 24th Street near Curtis Park and other streets.

The report also noted that the full 2040 General Plan is out for public review through August. Learn more about the General Plan here.

Watch the full climate update here.