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Palm Springs Solar Ordinance Will Fight Climate Change

Climate change is the defining issue of our age. It represents a very real threat to humanity with deepening droughts, water shortages, dying forests, massive wildfires, epic storms, floods and sea level rise.

In April the American College of Physicians issued the following call to action: “Climate change will have devastating consequences for public and individual health unless aggressive, global action is taken now to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”

The planet has now had 14 consecutive months of the hottest temperatures in 136 years. August tied July as the hottest month on record. Ever.

It’s time to take meaningful action.

Our first priority must be to prevent new sources of GHG emissions to our environment. In Palm Springs, our last GHG audit revealed that 70% of our emissions come from the gas and electricity used to heat, light and cool our buildings. New construction creates additional GHG emissions and accelerates climate change. Once emitted, these gases can remain in our atmosphere for hundreds of years.

In response to this threat, the Palm Springs Council is considering a common sense ordinance requiring installed solar on all new construction and major remodels. Policies requiring installed solar on new construction have already been enacted in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Lancaster, Sebastopol and Culver City.

To successfully pass this smart ordinance, we need people power. There will be a joint study session regarding the ordinance in October or November. Council will most likely vote in January. We will need to show up at both these meetings. Preferably in person or via email.

If you are interested in Action Alerts regarding those meetings, please sign up at or contact me directly at

In addition to fighting climate change, aggressively curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions creates opportunity. When we pivot to a thriving renewable energy economy we diversify our seasonal tourist economy, we grow our local renewable businesses, we create new jobs for our citizens and we attract the next generation of eco-tourists. Most important, we create a viable future for our children and grandchildren.

Let’s get moving. Making this transition will take all of us and there is no time to waste.

Ellen Lockert

Founder, Climate Action PS


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