Petaluma urban planners release greenhouse gas… | Sonoma Clean Power

Petaluma urban planners release greenhouse gas report, push for mitigation measures

Petaluma urban planners release greenhouse gas report, push for mitigation measures

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Article snippet: [ad_1] As Petaluma leaders create a vision to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2030, city planners are laying out measures that they hope will reduce the growing amount of local greenhouse gas emissions. In a May 19 General Plan Advisory Committee meeting, leaders with urban planning group Raimi & Associates, which was hired by the city, presented findings on their most recent analysis of Petaluma’s greenhouse gas production, and offered suggestions to the city for achieving its carbon neutral goals. “Petaluma is already experiencing effects of the changing climate, and those impacts are expected to worsen even with only moderate increases in those greenhouse gases,” said Eric Yurkovich, principal with Raimi & Associates. Greenhouse gases – which include carbon dioxide, methane and hydrofluorocarbons – trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere which contributes to climate change. Since the industrial revolution, the presence of greenhouse gases has substantially increased due to fossil fuel emissions, farming and deforestation, Yurkovich said. In turn, scientists have linked warming global temperature to extreme weather conditions, drought and a rise in sea levels, Yurkovich added. “This is actually a serious issue for families in Petaluma. Every year we have more and more days over 90 (degrees), over 100,” said General Plan Advisory Committee member Jessie Feller. “I think this is something we really need to think through as we ask residents to take climate action so we can meet these unbelievably aggressive climate goals.” Locally, Raimi & Associates determined the City of Petaluma’s facilities and vehicles alone emitted more than 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2019. That number represents less than 1% of community-wide total emissions, as facilities such as the airport and city buildings had near zero emissions due to their enrollment in Sonoma Clean Power’s EverGreen renewable energy program. The city as a whole contributed more than 472,000 metric tons of carbon emissions, with 67% of those emissions coming from cars and trucks and 24% coming from energy use. John Shribbs, member of the General Plan Advisory Committee and Chair of the Tree Advisory Committee, said he wasn’t surprised by the reported emission levels, but he was shocked to learn that 20,000 cars commute daily in and out of Petaluma. “We need housing for those who work here and work for those housed here in Petaluma and get those 20,000 cars down to at least 10,000 in next 10 years,” Shribbs said in a Monday email to the Argus-Courier. Possible climate mitigation measures, as Raimi & Associates proposed, include requiring all new non-residential buildings rely only on solar energy, an all-electric approach in new residential buildings, and possible partnership with Bay Area agencies to encourage the switch to all-electric for existing buildings and homes. Planners also pushed for more action to improve transportation options, including ways to prioritize rideshare options, putting in scooter and bikeshare parking, installing more public electric vehicle charging stations, making public transit more accessible, timely and affordable, and creating a local pedestrian and bike master plan. Raimi & Associates said another essential way to lower carbon emissions is through water efficient measures such as widescale use of low-flow toilets, drip irrigation systems, and recycled water systems for indoor and outdoor use. The group also urged the importance of restoring local ecosystems by planting trees in residential neighborhoods to increase the city’s tree canopy by 25%, and restoring the Petaluma River marsh land. Shribbs said he was happy to see Petaluma’s natural resources mentioned as a priority for setting climate action goals. “The goals set out by the consultants were difficult, but achievable, and everyone in GPAC seems to be onboard to move forward,” Shribbs said, adding that from what he’s seen at other city meetings, staff appear ready to act. “This gives me high hopes for Petaluma.” Amelia Parreira is a staff writer for the Argus-Courier. She can be reached at amelia.parreira@arguscourier.com or 707-521-5208. [ad_2] Source link...

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