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Campaign ‘Cool Irvine Launch’ Aims to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2030

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The Cool Irvine Launch, a breakthrough event to promote full carbon neutrality by 2030, was held virtually on Jan. 13. Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan and Congresswoman Katie Porter were in attendance.

“This is just the beginning, as we still need more Irvine residents to join us in implementing this innovative climate action plan to create a more sustainable Irvine for generations to come,” Khan said.

The launch was centered around the Cool City Challenge, which initially began in California amidst concerns about cities contributing 70% of the planet’s carbon footprint emissions. The challenge’s goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 rather than 2050.

Climate scientists state that climate action must be accelerated 300%. “To achieve this, we need to change the way we think about change. We need a climate moonshot strategy,” climate scientists said.

Irvine has been named one of three California cities to be awarded $1 million in funding to generate a new sustainability strategy. Irvine has already gained over 200 volunteers to help reach their goal. These volunteers, also known as “Cool Block” leaders, focus on uniting the community and advocating for water conservation and methods that decrease carbon emissions and the use of electricity. 

Out of the winners, which also include Los Angeles and Petaluma, Irvine has also taken the lead as, “one of the greenest cities in the state,” according to SpectrumNews1. Irvine has already implemented a shift to electric vehicles, programs for clean energy appliances for low-income residents, and overall transition into energy efficiency and decrease in carbon footprint.

The city of Irvine had already managed to reach their target in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 while maintaining a stable and growing economy. While establishing a local hazard mitigation plan, a strategic energy plan and a community choice energy initiative, Irvine has also increased jobs surrounding clean energy.

The L.A. Times mentioned that the winners of the Cool City Challenge receive two years to finish their climate planning. 

“It could take about 18 months to finish the plan,” Irvine environmental program administrator Sona Coffee said. 

The Cool Irvine Launch aims to reach their target by 2030, whereas many other cities in the United States and worldwide still have their target years set at 2045 or 2050. 

Hanna Bulaj is a City News Intern for the winter 2022 quarter. She can be reached at