In Landmark Climate Ruling, European Court Faults Switzerland

By Isabella Kwai and Emma Bubola | April 9, 2024 | The New York Times

Experts said it was the first time an international court determined that governments were legally obligated to meet their climate targets under human rights law.

“It is the first time that an international court has affirmed clearly that a climate crisis is a human rights crisis,” said Joie Chowdhury, a senior lawyer with the Center for International Environmental Law, an international group that voiced its support for KlimaSeniorinnen’s case.

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/09/world/europe/climate-human-rights.html

ECOS comments on AKT Development request for LAFCo hearings

On March 29, 2024, ECOS submitted a letter to Folsom City Council regarding the request they’ve received from AKT development to initiate hearings before Sacramento LAFCO to approve sphere of influence designation for a substantial area of land south of the city’s current city limits (and extending well into El Dorado County).

Below is an excerpt from our letter.

…initiation of this process has significant implications for City residents as well as county,
regional and state policies and programs. Of particular interest is how a supply of water to accommodate the proposed development might be made available. Place of use restrictions on Folsom’s water rights will limit the availability of surface water use in the proposed development area.

…We also have concerns regarding the project’s traffic impacts and increases in emissions resulting from the project’s buildout. Under California state law the Sacramento Region must meet mandated targets for greenhouse gas reduction and air quality by 2030. The approval of a very large greenfield most certainly does not advance the long-term ability to meet these targets.

Click here to read the letter in full.

The Sacramento region has approved too much sprawl already; a reckoning is here

By Tom Philp | March 6, 2024 | The Sacramento Bee

The politics of the Sacramento region have long been fueled by its expansion, with land speculators, developers, builders and trade unions funding political campaigns. But the extraordinary power of this political bloc needs to be checked before they cost the region hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding and blow up Sacramento’s climate goals.

Click here to read the full article: https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/article285860766.html#storylink=cpy

Related to inhibiting sprawl, SACOG is tasked with developing a new 25-year housing plan that lowers GHG emissions in Sacramento’s six-county region. The Land Use and Natural Resources Committee of SACOG will receive important new information on the region’s future housing demand on March 7, 2024. To watch a recording of the meeting, go to https://www.sacog.org/meetings/meeting-agendas; Advanced Search – insert meeting date, then see Item History.

Sacramento County Climate Action Plan: ECOS Comments, Jan 2024

On January 31, 2024, ECOS submitted a letter to Todd Smith, Planning Director of Sacramento County Planning and Environmental Review, regarding the Notice of Preparation of a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report and Public Scoping Meeting for the Sacramento County Climate Action Plan.

ECOS offers two comments on the subject document, summarized below. Please see our letter for supporting information.

  1. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) and SEIR should be complete, that is, they should show how carbon neutrality will be achieved in the County in whatever year the County believes is realistic.
  2. We know that land use and transportation are the keys to GHG emissions reduction. Therefore, the CAP and SEIR should include alternatives or scenarios showing three levels and locations of development – mostly greenfield, some greenfield/some infill, and mostly infill – similar the SACOG’s three Pathways for our region that were discussed by the jurisdictions last summer.

Click here to read the letter in full.