April 27, 2012
Green California Summit displays “Green Future” for California
Climate change is a “low grade fever for the planet and for our environment, and it weakens the planet’s immune system and makes all other environmental stresses more significant.” With those words, Dan Adler, President of the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), began his keynote speech at the 2012 Green California Summit and Exposition on Thursday at the Sacramento Convention Center.
Adler described a “Green Bank” for California, a funding model for clean energy initiatives that would return the benefits to Californians. He said, “There is a way that we can collectively participate in the economic development that this environmental policy will yield.”
In its sixth year, the Green California Summit and Exposition spanned two days and included educational programs, vendor exhibits, green technology demonstrations and an awards presentation. This year’s summit theme was, “Building a Green Future for the Golden State.”
The second keynote presentation was given by Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. Blumenfeld began by reading the American Lung Association’s list of the 10 Most Polluted Cities in the Nation, defined by ozone pollution. Nine of those ten cities on the list are in California. (Sacramento is #6.) Blumenfeld attributed the high pollution levels to goods movement – the in-state transportation of mechandise by trucks, trains and ships. About goods movement, he said, “They’re put on trucks, they’re put on trains, the ocean going vessels themselves are a very large source of pollution. They go through our lowest income communities. Those impacts are being suffered by communities that live along roadways.”
Blumenfeld also spoke about the economic benefits realized by companies that undertake environmental initiatives. As an example, when Walmart reduced their packaging by 5%, they saved $3.4 billion and took 200,000 trucks off the road.
Over 100 exhibitors displayed alternative fuel vehicles, LED lighting products, recycled building materials, solar power systems, water conservation products and energy-efficient appliances.
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