“The city of Davis is working on a comprehensive plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, operating under the theory that changes at every level of government will make a difference.”
Claire St. John, who covers the city council for Enterprise writes:
“In the meantime, the City Council is approving small, easy steps to show its commitment to the cause.”
What new measures is the city taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
“On Tuesday, the council will consider programs to lend commuter bikes to city employees, replace aging city fleet vehicles with hybrid models and fund staff training, keeping the city up to date on emerging trends and technology about climate change and sustainability.
If the council approves, staff members also will begin exploring ways to encourage contractors to use alternative fuels.
Easy measures — such as providing recycling bins for employees, conducting an energy audit offered by PG&E and purchasing recycled paper — also are on the agenda.”
The staff report admits that these “are not likely to result in major GHG [that’s greenhouse gas for the layman] emission reductions,” however more importantly, “they do show the city’s commitment to addressing climate change.”
St. John continues:
“City staff calls the measures being implemented “low-hanging fruit.” But they will set the stage for a larger effort, staff members say.”
What are these larger efforts:
“A greenhouse gas emissions inventory, which will identify major emissions sources in Davis, is under way. Expected to be completed in January, it will be used to target and address the city’s emissions.
In mid-October, the council approved the formation of a Climate Action Team [CAT] and a Technical Advisory Committee [TAC] and recruitment is under way. The council also approved an ordinance that restricts city sales or purchases of disposable bottles of water, with the intention of relying on tap water and reusable water containers.
Earlier, the city approved a construction and demolition recycling ordinance that requires a 50 percent diversion rate for all projects.
City representatives say they hope that once the Climate Action Team and Technical Advisory Committee are formed early next year, more extensive reduction measures will be studied and implemented.”
After the CAT discovers that combustion engines are the largest source of GHG emissions and that disposable bottles sold at city events are not, we will be all set to make major changes on the climate front.
Berkeley’s city council voted for the city to finance the cost of solar panels for property owners who agree to repayment over a 20 year period.
Berkeley is taking tough and innovative new steps at climate change while Davis is aiming for symbolic low hanging fruit.
Why has it taken until 2007 for the city of Davis to use recycled paper, have recycling bins, and look at trends on climate change and sustainability? Rather than leading the way, Davis is simply following trends set by more innovative and climate conscious municipalities.
—Doug Paul Davis reporting