Cities are the new front line for collective climate action that can be greatly impactful. The challenges we face with increasing traffic and housing affordability are linked with how we manage growth in our city and beyond. Cities are crucial in addressing climate change because they decide how land use progresses and what transportation infrastructure is in place for that use. Building high-density housing where appropriate in our city, backed with attractive mass transit, greatly reduces transportation-based carbon emission, a major source of carbon emission. The State of California has detailed local climate action plans, and Irvine is far behind in implementing them. Combatting climate change in our city will take innovative steps as well as well-known strategies, including public-private partnerships in green technology and development.
Irvine was a global leader in combatting CFCs’ destruction of ozone. Stopping the ozone hole is a major success story, with the turn around of the size of the ozone hole in 2006. The City of Irvine and UC Irvine led the way in discovering and stopping the threat from ozone destruction, 30 years ago. Irvine must take the lead again and implement what is needed in green technology and city planning in order to maximize our impact in helping stop climate change, as well as the challenges in transportation and housing we face.