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CAPing Carbon
Blowing Smoke: ONE PASEO

CAPing Carbon
Don Mosier | City Council Member

California has taken a leadership role in addressing climate change caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Two legislative actions, AB32 and SB375, set goals for reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and to 20% of 1990 levels by 2050. The City Council appointed a Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB) in 2006 to help Del Mar achieve both the regional and state goals for GHG reductions.

The first phase, a baseline GHG emissions inventory, was completed in 2011 with funding from Kaiser Permanente, The San Diego Foundation, and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA. GHG levels are expressed as metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents (CO2e), and the GHG’s included in this calculation include CO2 as well as methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons. The latter three gases are products of combustion, waste disposal and refrigerants, and have impacts 20-10,000-fold greater than CO2. The baseline inventory used data from 2005, and is available on the city’s website: www.delmar.ca.us/News/Documents/Del Mar GHG Report.pdf. Government operations generated 579 metric tons CO2e/year, while the community sources totaled 48,776 metric tons of CO2e/year. Transportation accounted for the largest portion of GHG emissions in both inventories. The SAB is now addressing the next steps in developing a local climate action plan (CAP) for Del Mar, which include setting GHG reduction goals, developing methods to achieve the goals (the core climate action plan), and recommending to the City Council adoption of the climate action plan. Following adoption of the plan (with or without modifications following public comment), the city will implement the climate action plan and the SAB will help monitor progress towards achieving the GHG reduction goals.

The 2020 reduction goal will be at least 7% (a modest target set by the CA Air Resources Board) to 15% (a target recommended in the inventory summary). Since transportation is the major source of GHG emissions in Del Mar, voluntary efforts to reduce trips, providing more local shops that serve the needs of residents, walking and bicycling more, and enforcing idling restrictions (a step already taken) will help. The city has installed three electric vehicle charging stations to encourage use of non-polluting electric cars. We welcome suggestions from residents on other ways that we can lessen our impact on the environment and make Del Mar a cleaner and healthier place to live.


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