SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Just after Earth Day, Breathe California’s 24th Annual Clean Air Awards celebrated and recognized six Bay Area individuals, groups and organizations that are developing creative and effective strategies to address climate change. Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University professor and climate scientist, delivered this year’s keynote address, while Sarah Backhouse, founder and host of Future360.tv, served as the Master of Ceremonies. The Clean Air Awards were presented at The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco on Thursday, April 24.
“We are acutely aware that defending public health requires collaboration and the combined efforts of many,” said Andy Katz, Breathe California Government Relations Director. “Though much has been accomplished in air quality and protecting our climate, toxic pollution continues to impact our health, and we must act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late.”
Dr. Jacobson responded to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) report finding that the window for action on climate protection is approaching a point of no return by discussing how local, state and the federal government can work together to reduce emissions by converting to wind, water and solar power.
According to the World Health Organization’s new findings, air pollution is now the world’s single greatest environmental health risk, claiming one in eight total deaths worldwide.
This year’s awards proudly honor the following recipients:
SF Environment, San Francisco (Smart Growth)
For creating visionary policies and innovative programs that promote social equity, protect human health, and lead the way toward a sustainable future. Their policies include Clean Transportation, Zero Waste, Green Building, Biodiversity, Climate Change, School Education and Toxics Reduction.
City of Richmond/MCE Clean Energy, Richmond (Greenhouse Gas
For empowering local communities and their consumers with alternative energy options, and providing a competitive marketplace for enterprising service providers. In addition to offering more renewable, cost-effective electricity service options, MCE also supports local renewable energy development and energy efficiency programs. Richmond has teamed up with MCE to achieve greenhouse gas reductions of 67,533 tons between 2010 and 2013.
Eric Mar, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco
For being an outspoken advocate for environmental justice, supporting efforts to address cumulative impacts of air pollution. His commitment to smoke-free environments is demonstrated by leading efforts for city ordinances prohibiting smoking at public outdoor events, and including e-cigarettes in the definition of smoking.
Youth for the Environment and Sustainability, YES Conference,
Oakland (Public Awareness)
For bringing together middle- and high-school students from the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties who are passionate about alternative transportation modes and saying NO to climate change. These students are collectively spearheading efforts in their communities to reduce pollution, increase transportation options and improve overall health.
SOL Inc. and the Town of Discovery Bay, Discovery Bay (Technology)
For both organizations making sustainability and a clean environment central to their operations and mission. The town is currently pioneering the expansion of solar outdoor lighting through its partnership with solar lighting company SOL Inc., with the implementation of state-of-the-art lighting technologies that provide infrastructure and environmental benefits.
Bay Area Bike Share, Berkeley (Transportation)
For creating the first bikeshare system to launch in California and in the United States as a unified regional system. The program provides an easy and cost-effective "last mile" solution, linking public transit with riders' final destinations in the cities along the Caltrain commuter rail corridor -- San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose.
The awards were presented in front of approximately 200 environmental leaders. Breathe California would also like to recognize the luncheon’s presenting sponsor, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, for its support of the event.
Breathe California is dedicated to fighting lung disease, advocating for clean air and advancing public health. For more than a century, we have addressed the most serious health threats through grassroots programs that empower individual, institutional and community change for better breathing and healthier living. For more information about Breathe California, the Clean Air Awards or our award recipients, visit www.cleanairawards.org or call one of our Bay Area affiliates at (650) 994-5868 or (408) 998-5865.