Written by Julia Sidley, NNC Intern 2021

As the consequences of the climate crisis become clearer and more threatening with time, governments have struggled to find policy solutions and have struggled even more to implement that legislation. 

A report by the United Nations determined that by 2030 if carbon neutrality is not achieved the world will warm by another catastrophic 1.5 degrees celsius. Many activists have since decided that 2030 in the ideal deadline, has been the goal of many climate activists that has unfortunately proven rather difficult and is not always politically popular. 

Even in more progressive-leaning cities that have acknowledged climate change as an issue, such as Sacramento, convincing politicians to adopt a bold deadline to phase out greenhouse gas emissions has proved difficult. 

President Biden recently adopted a carbon emissions guidance to cut carbon output to half of the current levels by 2030. This guidance has been criticized as “too little too late”, many climate scientists are not optimistic about the impact such a reduction will have on slowing or lessening the impacts of the climate crisis to survivable levels

In December of 2019, the Sacramento City Council adopted a climate emergency declaration. The ordinance declared that the climate crisis is a priority issue and acknowledged that without change, the fallout of climate change will be catastrophic.

The declaration, however, included a carbon neutrality deadline of 2045, which many experts deem too late to reverse or slow the onset of ecological collapse. Many activists in and around Sacramento have been attending City Council meetings and demonstrations for years now to tell their council members that the planet we all call home, must come first. 

Activist, Sneha Namboodiri, with Fridays For Future Sacramento, explained “When referring to reducing carbon emissions: the city is using both 2030 and 2045 dates. They focus on an aim to reach carbon neutrality by 2045, but this is far too late and simply stating to cut emissions as much as possible is not at all a strong commitment. We need our city to take bold action now.” 

Namboodiri and other Sacramento activists have been working tirelessly to urge the City Council to adopt this bolder action. Activists have been making appearances at various meetings, most recently on June 25 to pressure the Council into adopting a more ambitious neutrality deadline into the City’s General Plan.