The Cool Davis Initiative was formally launched in October 2010, but it has emerged as a community-wide response to the pressing climate crisis over the last six years.
In response to growing awareness of the climate crisis, in 2005, then Mayor Ruth Uy Asmundson, on behalf of the City of Davis signed the U.S. Mayors agreement on climate control in support of the Kyoto Protocols, which pledged that the City would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
City staff began working to research and find ways to implement the pledge. When the city staff did a greenhouse gas inventory and found that over 75% of Davis emissions were generated by the daily activities of its residents, it was clear that the only way that Davis would reach its target of 25% reduction by 2012 would be with the help of all its citizens.
With over 75% of Davis emissions generated by the daily activities of its residents, it was clear that Davis would only reach its target of 25% reduction by 2012 with the help of all its citizens.
In 2008, the City of Davis established the Davis Climate Action Team, made up of city staff and local citizens to assist in the development of a greenhouse gas reduction plan for the City of Davis and the community as a whole. Once the plan was completed, it was turned over to City staff to develop ways to implement the Committee’s recommendations.
In March of 2010, by unanimous vote, the Davis City Council voted to work towards total carbon neutrality by 2050. On June 1, 2010, the City of Davis approved the Davis Climate Action and Adaptation Plan designed to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, conserve natural resources, protect the environment, address global warming, and reduce the carbon footprint of Davis.
In order to help implement the Davis Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, the City of Davis initiated the formation of the Cool Davis Initiative. The mission of the Cool Davis Initiative – created by a network of residents, businesses, the City of Davis, and local groups – is to inspire our community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to a changing climate, and improve the quality of life for all. The group decided that “having fun” was also important to their work.
The weekend of October 9-10, 2010 Cool Davis Initiative publicly launched. In solidarity with 10-10-10 climate actions worldwide (www.350.org), the Cool Davis Climate Action Work Day on Saturday, October 9, emphasized caring for our environment, eco-justice, and climate mitigation and included projects sponsored by the Sierra Club, Putah Creek Council, and other groups. About 150 citizens participated in the Work Day.
On Sunday, October 10, 2010 the Cool Davis Festival sought to empower and inspire the Greater Davis community with a free, inspirational celebration including dance, theater, a panel of regional mayors, music, demonstrations and exhibits. Fifty-three organizations participated and about 1700 people attended the event.
In the months since the 2010 Festival, the CDI has achieved a growing list of partner organizations (45 in August of 2011) that support the CDI mission, begun a number of project groups, started Low Carbon Diet teams, showed the film No Impact Man, and begun to plan the Cool Davis Day of Service scheduled for Saturday, October 15 and the Cool Davis Festival 2011, scheduled for Sunday October 16.