By Jared Blumenfeld,  Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment
San Francisco Chronicle, October 25, 2009cop15_logo_img

Rather than signing on to agreements that do not ever seem to translate into action, Copenhagen conferees should instead ensure that hard fought-over targets are implemented.

…Better to take climate change personally. Economist Sir Nicholas Stern calculated in his review that if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, by 2050 each man, woman and child on the planet can emit only 2 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Today, global per capita greenhouse emissions are at 4.2 tons – in San Francisco, the per capita average is 11 tons, and for the United States, it is 24 tons per person.

…By combining clear climate actions with a per capita carbon dioxide target, citizen groups, lawyers and the public will have the tools to hold their politicians accountable to their Copenhagen commitments. By focusing on what each country can do today rather than what 192 nations are unlikely to do tomorrow, the Copenhagen climate conference still has the opportunity to save the planet.

We completely agree with Blumenfeld’s pragmatic approach. Climate change is a global issue that we all need to take personally. That’s why we’re developing tools for tracking resource consumption on the individual level.