Tackling the Challenge of Climate Change

Berkeley needs to be ahead of the curve by requiring that buildings and transportation be as environmentally conscious as possible — from the source materials to build them to the energy used to run them. Kate wrote and passed the first ban on natural gas in new buildings; the Berkeley ordinance has now been replicated by 50 California cities and in cities in other states. She worked with her colleagues to opt up all of the City’s electrical accounts to 100% clean, renewable energy and passed legislation to require all city vehicles be electric by 2035, with lighter passenger vehicles changed over by 2030.

War and the Environment

The issues of war and climate change are not separable: the use of fossil fuels drive international crises such as that in Ukraine – a country which enjoys large lithium deposits, being invaded by a country heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Having worked in many countries – Nigeria, Indonesia, Russia – Kate has seen first-hand how reliance on a single industry is dangerous not only to the planet but to residents of these countries and to world peace. One of the most significant ways we can contribute to peace is by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Social Impact of Climate Change

Disenfranchised communities are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the least financially able to take steps to slow it. Reflecting her concern that the environment not just be the province of the wealthy, Kate created the Climate Equity Action Fund so that lower-income households could reduce emissions from and increase the comfort of their homes and choose green transportation options. This June, her $1.5 million Pilot Electrification Incentive Program to subsidize low-income households (both tenants and homeowners) in electrifying and making their homes more energy efficient using unionized contractors will be heard by the Council. All of these efforts have leveraged and unlocked millions in additional funding at the regional, state and federal levels.