To Meet Climate Change Goals, San Francisco Tries Networking

San Francisco's Business Council on Climate Change serves as a 'convener' between municipal government and the private sector to tackle issues related to climate change. Writer Andrew Wade spoke with the Council's executive director, Michael Parks.

1 minute read

January 24, 2017, 10:00 AM PST

By ArupAmericas

Coit Tower

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When and why was the Business Council on Climate Change formed?

It came about initially in 2005, when San Francisco hosted World Environment Day. That’s a United Nations initiative. Essentially, the UN Global Compact put a challenge to San Francisco to come up with an interesting approach to addressing a pressing environmental issue.

The discussion around climate change was really just getting started on a national level at that time. Early 2006 was when climate change was on the cover of every magazine — that was the year An Inconvenient Truth came out. So San Francisco responded to the UN challenge by putting together a pretty open-ended forum to discuss what it should do about climate change. People from the City spent time working with stakeholders to figure out what meaningful action would look like. They decided that a place for government and business to work together on climate issues would be really useful.

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