Carlsbad Climate Action Plan will provide blueprint to reduce greenhouse gases

Alga Norte solar

The City of Carlsbad will hold a workshop to discuss a proposed Climate Action Plan, which is being developed to help the city meet state mandates for reducing greenhouse gases while supporting a community goal of promoting a sustainable environment. The purpose of the workshop will be to provide estimates of current and future emissions for Carlsbad, describe reduction targets and gather input from the public on possible measures to meet those targets.

The time and date of the workshop is:

Thursday, Aug. 22, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
City of Carlsbad Senior Center
799 Pine Ave.
Carlsbad, CA 92008

A Climate Action Plan is a long-range strategy to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, which include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapor. Carlsbad’s Climate Action Plan will set a baseline for past and current emissions, forecast future emissions and establish targets by which to reduce future emissions. It also will discuss potential environmental benefits that result from different methods of reducing emissions.

Rather than requiring each development in the city, whether public or private, to devise its own reduction method, the Climate Action Plan will identify specific actions to reduce emissions on a citywide basis. The Climate Action Plan will also promote environmental best practices that conserve energy and, as a result, may reduce costs for the general public. For example, producing electricity from sustainable sources, such as solar panels, could result in long-term savings.

In 2005, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued an executive order that included the following targets for California:

  • By 2020, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels.
  • By 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 20 percent of 1990 levels.

In 2006 the California Legislature passed the Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB 32, which established the 2020 emissions target and gave the California Air Resources Board the task of developing a plan to hit the target. In 2008 the Legislature amended the California Environmental Quality Act, a state law guiding development, to say that greenhouse gas emissions should be analyzed the same way as other impacts to our environment.

Since the adoption of AB 32, the City of Carlsbad has taken many steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote environmentally sustainable practices, such as:

  • Replacing more than 6,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights with new energy-saving induction units.
  • Installing a solar thermal energy system to heat the swimming pools at the City of Carlsbad Alga Norte Community Park, which is under construction.
  • Designing other energy saving features at Alga Norte Community Park, such as  LED lighting for parking lot and walkways, high efficiency pool pump motors, high efficiency sports lighting, and energy management systems.

In addition, the city has been considering plans to generate hydroelectricity by installing turbines on high pressure water pipes that feed the city’s main reservoir.

Such programs have the dual benefit of conserving energy while saving taxpayer dollars over the long term.

The City of Carlsbad is in the process of updating its General Plan, which is the city’s overall blueprint for development. The General Plan will include a land-use pattern and other measures, such as a transportation program, that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Action Plan will complement the General Plan and serve as a tool to help meet state goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Carlsbad community identified environmental sustainability as one of its core values during the Envision Carlsbad process, when community members gathered to create a vision for Carlsbad’s future. Envision Carlsbad developed nine core values that the community felt were important:

  • Small town feel, beach community character and connectedness
  • Open space and the natural environment
  • Access to recreation and active, healthy lifestyles
  • Local economy, business diversity and tourism
  • Walking, biking, public transportation and connectivity
  • Sustainability
  • History, the arts and cultural resources
  • High quality education and community services
  • Neighborhood revitalization, community design and livability.

The Climate Action Plan will support some of these core values.

Following the workshop, the City of Carlsbad expects to complete a draft of the Climate Action Plan and release it for public review in October. The Climate Action Plan, along with the updated General Plan and related Environmental Impact Report, will be the subject of future public hearings.

For more information
David de Cordova, 760-602-4604, david.decordova@carlsbadca.gov

City media contact
Kristina Ray, 760-434-2957, kristina.ray@carlsbadca.gov

 

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