Climate Action and Resiliency Plan Update

Climate Action and Resiliency Plan Update

Through its Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP), updated in 2019, Alameda first set a goal of reducing emissions by 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral as soon as possible. Following CARP adoption, the city declared a climate emergency, which revises the CARP goals and commits the city to becoming carbon neutral no later than 2030.

So how is the city doing? According to a draft annual report on CARP we have seen reductions in emissions in some areas. An exact measurement of greenhouse gas reductions will not be known until the next measurement, which probably won’t occur until 2024.

A major step in the right direction occurred on Jan. 1, 2020, when Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) began providing 100% clean energy to all customers via geothermal and hydroelectric sources, wind power and landfill gas. And natural gas usage is down slightly in 2020 after a similar uptick in 2019.

Electric vehicle ownership is growing slowly and is currently 4.42% of all vehicles in Alameda. As people started working remotely during the pandemic, ferry and AC Transit ridership plummeted in 2020 and is now growing again but has a long way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels.

In 2021, the City of Alameda took many actions towards achieving CARP objectives. Transportation makes up 70% of Alameda’s greenhouse gas emissions, so improvement in this sector is extremely important. To support bicycling, in 2021, 2.1 miles of bike lanes were completed, bringing the total capacity to 51.2 miles. In May 2021, 64 new bicycle parking spaces were installed in the Park Street and Webster Street business districts, and an additional eight new secure parking spaces were installed at the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal for a total of 24 spaces at this terminal. In June, an additional 20 bike parking spaces were added at the Encinal Boat Ramp.

Alameda was recognized as a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. To support transition to electric vehicles, Alameda installed Level 2 charging stations at Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal and is in the process of applying for support to install EV chargers at several public parking lots across the city. AMP continues to offer EV charger rebates and started to offer rebates for used EVs in 2020. AMP hosted two Electric Vehicle 101 webinars in 2021 as well. Twenty-eight gas vehicles in the city’s fleet were replaced with hybrids and another 23 replacements are planned for FY21/22. In July 2021, the new Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal opened. AC Transit launched a one-year pilot of Line 78 to provide peak-hour bus connection to access the terminal. Alameda amended its’s off-street parking ordinance to eliminate parking minimums and require EV charging and bike parking in new developments.

Now that our electricity is generated from 100% renewable sources there is a focus on electrification of gas appliances. To reduce natural gas usage the city has taken action. In June 2021, the city adopted an ordinance requiring all newly constructed buildings to be fully electric with a few exceptions. Krusi Recreation Center, located in Krusi Park, is a newly constructed all electric building. The West End Library electrified its furnace. To support transition to electric in existing buildings, AMP is providing rebates on heat-pump water heaters, electric clothes dryers and electric panel upgrades.

Other efforts include City Council passing an ordinance in September 2021 banning the sale and use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers. The ordinance goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023. In 2021, the Parks and Recreation Department and Public Works planted a total of 317 trees, while 117 trees were removed, for a net increase of 200 trees to the urban forest.

What can you do to help Alameda reach carbon neutrality by 2030? When gas appliances such as your water heater, furnace or dryer break down, replace them with electric options. Make your next vehicle purchase an electric vehicle and if you own your home, consider installing solar panels. AMP offers rebates to defray costs associated with electrification (https://alamedamp.com/407/Rebates-and-Incentives). Reduce vehicle trips by walking, biking or taking public transit. Insulate your home, switch to LED lightbulbs, wash with cold water and put up a clothesline. Plant trees, lots of trees. For more ideas see Community Action for Sustainable Alameda’s climate protection checklist and resource list at https://tinyurl.com/2p8532vd.