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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on July 8th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 19

County begins drafting plan to reach 2030 emission reduction goal

By Zac Ezzone

Over the next two years, the county of Santa Barbara will develop a plan identifying programs and policies the jurisdiction can pursue to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

During its meeting on July 7, the county Board of Supervisors authorized staff to hire a consultant and move forward with developing the Climate Action Plan 2030. County staff said the work required to complete this plan will take two years. 

The county set a target for itself to reduce its greenhouse gas emission levels to 50 percent below emission levels in 2007 by 2030. In 2007, county emissions levels were more than 1.1 million metric tons and had reached 1.5 million by 2016. To meet its target, the county needs to lower this number to 675,900 metric tons by 2030.

During his presentation to the board, county Climate Program Manager Garrett Wong said some of the emission reductions will take place through legislative requirements from the state and county. Additionally, the county’s decision to join Monterey Bay Community Power and the future opening of the Tajiguas ReSource Center will help lower this number. 

But Wong said county staff anticipates the county will still need to reduce 320,200 metric tons of emissions. The climate action plan will propose policies and programs to address those reductions.

“In order to close the gap, we realize that aggressive programs and policies need to be developed and enacted in order to shift consumer behavior and business operations to more efficient and less polluting practices and technologies,” Wong said. 

Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam cast the lone vote against staff’s request to work with the consultant firm Rincon to develop the plan. He said that while he has reservations about whether the climate is changing, if there is a problem, it’ll be addressed by private industry and not government decisions. 

“The answer to the whole problem, if there is one, is technology,” Adam said. “It’s not up to the government really to try to make science happen. ... That’s where the answer is coming from. It’s not coming from a climate action plan in Santa Barbara County.” 








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