City Seeks Final Input on New Climate Action Plan

Following more than a year of development, Alameda’s draft Climate Action & Resiliency Plan (CARP) is now available for public comment. This plan lays out a roadmap for how Alameda will become more sustainable, continue to reduce greenhouse- gas emissions and build resiliency to flooding and other big challenges we face against the threat of climate change. 

Alameda’s climate-action efforts began in 2008 with the adoption of the Local Action Plan for Climate Protection. This set a goal of reducing Alameda’s annual greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. While we are excited to report that Alameda is on track, having reduced its annual emissions by 23 percent, we must continue to reduce emissions faster and farther. 

Most of our greenhouse-gas reductions to date come from changes to the energy supply. Beginning in 2020, Alameda Municipal Power will deliver 100 percent clean electricity to all Alamedans, effectively eliminating the city’s emissions from electricity. The remainder of emissions reductions must come from Alamedans getting out of their cars, composting and recycling and improving the energy efficiency of homes and businesses. To achieve the deep cuts we know are necessary, Alamedans must switch the fuel in their vehicles from gasoline to electric and in their building from natural gas to electricity.

New to this plan is an emphasis on resilience. Climate change is already affecting our community, from the harsh weeks of wildfire smoke last fall to the accelerating rise of the San Francisco Bay. To keep Alameda safe and healthy, these mounting risks must be prepared for. CARP lays out strategies that will help protect Alamedans and adapt the infrastructure to wildfire smoke, extreme heat, drought and flooding.

CARP arose from the community and City Council. Community Action for Sustainable Alameda, an open volunteer group that the city helped form in 2008, played an important role in getting the word out and supporting public participation. To date, Alamedans shared input on the plan’s development through a community survey in the summer of 2018, multiple community events and two public input sessions. The draft climate action plan now available for public comment incorporates hundreds of suggestions, concerns and questions that community members offered over the past year and a half.

Alamedans can review the draft plan and provide comments until Friday, May 31, at www.opentownhall.com/7405. For those not ready to read the entire plan, check out the executive summary at www.alamedaca.gov/carp. Better yet, come to the public comment session from 6 to 8 p.m., next Monday, May 20, at the Elks Lodge, 2255 Santa Clara Ave. We look forward to hearing what Alamedans have to say.

 

Patrick Pelegri-O’Day is the city’s climate action coordinator.