Press Release


Global Call on Cities & Counties to Mobilize at a Massive Scale to Restore Our Climate

Santa Clara County, California — January 16, 2020 – In recognition of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary later this year, Santa Clara County, Earth Day Network, and the Foundation for Climate Restoration call on all cities and counties to adopt Climate Restoration by launching the “Local Governments for Climate Restoration Campaign.” 

Supervisor Dave Cortese’s Climate Restoration Emergency Resolution, approved by County Executives in August 2019, was the first of its kind in the nation and called for the immediate mobilization of resources and labor at a massive scale and at every level – local, state, national, international, social, industrial, and economic – to halt, reverse, mitigate, restore, and prepare for the consequences of our climate emergency and to ensure the survival and flourishing of humanity and our natural world–for future generations. Climate restoration includes natural and technological solutions—that are safe, scalable, financeable, and permanent—to remove the excess trillion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. 

“The global implementation required to respond to this climate humanitarian crisis will occur one individual at a time; one town at a time; one city at a time, one county or province at a time, until we have knit together a global climate restoration movement that is unstoppable,” said Supervisor Cortese as he called on local governments across the globe to follow the lead of Santa Clara County and also declare a Climate Restoration Emergency. 

“Our planet, our livelihoods and the livelihoods of generations to come are at stake,” said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network. “Cities and counties are on the frontlines of climate change — both its impacts, and its solutions. It is inspiring to see Supervisor Cortese and Santa Clara County meeting our climate crisis with both urgency and scale, and we hope to see local leaders around the world stepping up and mobilizing under the Climate Restoration Emergency Resolutions, leading by example within their own communities.”

Santa Clara County is creating the blueprint for cities and counties to follow. With climate restoration as the underlying framework, all jurisdictions can pledge that 100 percent of their electrical power originates from clean renewable sources, that they commit to Building Electrification “Reach Codes” that call for all-electric buildings and electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure during the new construction process, and that they incorporate carbon-negative building materials, including low embodied emissions in concrete to restore our atmospheric carbon dioxide to preindustrial levels. In rural settings, Santa Clara County is developing a first-of-its-kind Agricultural Resilience Incentive grant program that will galvanize the participation of agricultural communities in climate restoration. 

“Climate Restoration is an essential component of our global climate plan,” said Rick Parnell, CEO, Foundation for Climate Restoration. “We have the technologies available today, that once at scale, can remove the excess trillion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050. Now is the time to let people know that we can and must restore the climate to ensure the survival of the human species.” 

“The U.S. movement to solve our planetary climate crisis is driven by local action,” said Angie Fyfe, Local Governments for Sustainability USA Executive Director, ICLEI. “We commend Supervisor Cortese for his leadership and acknowledge the County staff, citizens and businesses of Santa Clara County for their contributions towards achieving ambitious climate goals.  We hope this announcement will inspire other cities and counties to be bold in their climate action!”

The Press Conference was attended by partnering groups: Silicon Valley Youth Climate Action, Bay Area for Clean Environment, ICLEI-USA, Elders Climate Action, Environmental Studies Department-San Jose State University, Los Gatos Plant-Based Advocates, The California Native Garden Foundation, and Cool Silicon Valley.

About Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese

Supervisor Dave Cortese was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in 2008. Prior to joining the Board, Cortese served eight years on the San Jose City Council, including two years as Vice Mayor, and eight years on the East Side Union High School District Board. He has proposed and successfully implemented broad, far reaching climate action goals for Santa Clara County including receiving 100% of the County’s electrical needs from renewable resources by using the County’s surplus lands for solar power facilities. Supervisor Cortese was a founding Board Member of Silicon Valley Clean Energy, a community choice energy provider which includes 14 of 15 cities in the county and unincorporated County. The County Climate Coalition, a project spearheaded by Dave’s office in partnership with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, affirmed the county’s commitment to emission reductions deadlines set forth in the United Nations’ Paris Climate Agreement. On Tuesday, September 17, 2019 was honored to be the only elected official to address the first annual Climate Restoration Forum at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. 

About Earth Day Network

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to protest environmental degradation. That first Earth Day sparked the creation of the EPA and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, and led to the creation of Earth Day Network. Today, Earth Day Network works year-round with more than 75,000 partners in 190 countries on projects, programs, and campaigns that support environmental conservation, environmental protection, climate activism and advocacy, and advancing the green economy. Learn more at

About Foundation for Climate Restoration

The Foundation for Climate Restoration (F4CR) is a nonprofit whose mission is to catalyze action to restore the climate by 2050. It uses global dialogue and initiatives to unite the public, policy-makers, and technical and business experts behind the common goal of reversing global warming and restoring a healthy climate for future generations. The F4CR encourages and spotlights achievable solutions to remove excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and rebuild Arctic ice. For more information visit


Media Contact:

Alexandra Pony

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