Achieving Carbon Zero through our Built Environment

By Anne Stausboll, Commission Chair

We just completed three power-packed meetings on how Sacramento and West Sacramento can achieve carbon zero by 2045. These meetings were hosted and facilitated by SMUD, and the participants were the members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on the Built Environment that was established by the Mayors’ Climate Commission. About fifty experts from our communities were involved — and included architects, developers, environmental groups, land use planners, city representatives, industry representatives, and government organizations. Thank you to everyone who participated, the Local Government Commission, and SMUD for preparing the meeting materials, and to Obadiah Bartholomy, Manager, Distributed Energy Strategy of SMUD, who did a great job of running the meetings!

The TAC’s charge was to develop a vision for the built environment (new and existing commercial and residential buildings, and green space) by 2045, develop milestones that must be reached by 2030, and then to develop high-impact strategies as well as immediate actions necessary to meet those milestones. The meetings were intense and action packed, and resulted in an impressive body of work, with dozens of proposed strategies. The recommendations are bold and I am excited to see them come forward for consideration.

The TAC’s recommendations will be presented at the next Climate Commission meeting on March 18, from 4-7 pm, at Sacramento City Hall Council Chambers. The meeting will be public and there will be time allotted for public input.  We want to hear from as many people as possible to get feedback on the recommendations and to help us prioritize the milestones and strategies. We will be sharing the materials publicly at prior to the March 18 meeting.  You can also provide written input here.

The Commission has also established two other TACs – on Mobility, and on Health and Community Resiliency.  The Mobility group will begin meeting in late April and its recommendations will be brought to the next Commission meeting.

Given the urgency of the climate crisis, the Commission is on a fast track.  We hope to complete our work by the end of the calendar year, so that we can provide timely input to the cities’ ongoing planning efforts.

Please follow our work and get involved.  We need your support and input!


Anne Stausboll is the Chair of the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change, charged with the mandate of making recommendations on how to achieve Carbon Zero in Sacramento and West Sacramento by 2045. Before retiring in 2017, she served as Chief Executive Officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and as Chief Deputy for California State Treasurer Phil Angelides. She also served for ten years as Chair of the Board of Ceres, a national nonprofit coalition of investors, environmental groups, and companies advocating for sustainable business practices, with a focus on climate change. Throughout her career she has championed the movement to integrate environmental, social and governance issues into the financial markets. Anne received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis.
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