Environment, Climate Change, and Resiliency

Palo Alto has been an influential leader in addressing climate change, recycling, protecting our natural environment, and preparing for resilience. While on the city council, I led in making our electricity 100% carbon-free at 30% lower cost than PG&E, one of the first cities globally to do so. Our success has been used as a model by many other cities, resulting in climate impacts far exceeding our local actions.

I’ve been a champion for preserving our natural habitat, increasing recycling of water and solid waste, and preparing for resilience; and I was the key driver on the Council of our ground-breaking Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) and its 80/30 goal of 80% reduction in GHGs by 2030.
We’ve also achieved a powerful culture change around biking and school commutes, with 68% of PAUSD students choosing to walk, bike, use transit, or carpool to school thanks to the Safe Routes to School program that I strongly supported on the PTC and Council.

While on City Council:

  • Represented the city at the COP 21/Paris Climate Accord in 2015
  • Chaired the San Francisquito Creek flood control agency
  • Lead our Sustainability Summit and far-reaching Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP)
  • Represented the city on the County Emergency Preparedness Council
  • Established the city’s CLEAN local solar program
  • Launched and Chaired the Advanced Water Recycling task force with the Santa Clara Valley Water District

My commitment to the environment has bridged the private and public sectors for over 20 years:

  • California EPA Pollution Prevention Task Force
  • California Comparative Risk Project
  • Santa Clara County Pollution Prevention Committee
  • Vice-Chair of Sustainable San Mateo County

But there’s more to do. We need a strong and innovative commitment to ensuring that our actions are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.


“Pat has been a critical leader in our environmental and climate protection accomplishments, including low-cost, 100% clean energy, making Palo Alto a model for other cities.” - Peter Drekmeir, Former Mayor of Palo Alto


The global pandemic response has shown us that society is capable of working together to overcome great challenges. As we emerge from our current crisis, we must tackle the greatest challenge facing us and future generations, the need to protect our climate. We can play an impactful role by meeting our 80/30 goal and putting us on a path toward a truly sustainable future.