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Just as a glass greenhouse traps heat form the sun, greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and others, in Earth's atmosphere do the same. As higher concentrations of GHGs are emitted, the greenhouse effect is intensified. This causes changes in climate patterns, which can impact the health and welfare of humans, wildlife, agriculture, and other environmental and societal factors.
In order to achieve Woodland's greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, the City, its residents, and local businesses must work together to reduce GHG emissions. The CAP's six focus areas are Energy, Transportation and Land Use, Urban Forest and Open Space, Water and Solid Waste, Public Involvement, and Municipal Operations.
You can do your part in reducing GHG emissions in your community by choosing from a variety of actions and strategies ranging from simple actions, such as switching to LED light bulbs, recycling, composting food scraps, conserving water, or choosing alternative modes of transportation, to more advanced options, such as implementing energy-efficiency retrofit projects at home, replacing a gasoline or diesel vehicle with a hybrid or electric vehicle, converting your lawn to a water-wise landscape, or launching a citizen-led outreach effort. View the Climate Action Plan (PDF) to find simple and advanced ways to do your part in helping to reduce community-wide GHG emissions in Woodland.
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are those gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and others) that trap heat in the atmosphere. The buildup of GHGs in earth's atmosphere causes changes in regional and global climate patterns, which can result in impacts on the health and welfare of humans, wildlife, agriculture, ecosystems, and other environmental and societal factors.
California Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), signed into law in 2006, committed the state to reducing GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Year 2005 emission levels are used as the standard baseline level. Executive Order S-3-05 established a long-term target to reduce emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. More recently, Senate Bill 32 (SB 32) established an interim target to achieve reductions of 50% below 1990 levels by 2030. To meet this goal, the state encourages local communities to reduce GHG emissions by 15% from baseline levels by 2020 and longer term climate change effects must be addressed in General Plans and project environmental reviews.
A local climate action plan is based on the premise that local governments and the communities they represent are uniquely capable of addressing many of the major sources of emissions within their jurisdictions. Local climate action plans typically address an array of activities and planning practices that directly or indirectly affect GHG emissions. The main focuses of GHG reduction strategies are often electricity generation and use, transportation modes and patterns, and land uses, but many other contributing activities and processes are considered as well.
The 2020 Preliminary CAP and current CAP establish GHG-reduction targets that are consistent with state-established goals and provide strategies for achieving those targets. The CAP is intended to provide the community with a well-defined framework related to energy efficiency and climate change effects and streamline future project compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
General Plans are now required to address climate change impacts and adaptation policies. The CAP was developed simultaneously with the City's 2035 General Plan Update, which includes specific policy direction to implement the CAP. The 2035 General Plan also contains many goals and policies supporting the CAP that were considered during CAP development and analysis.
The State CEQA Guidelines require analysis and mitigation of GHG emissions for proposed projects. CEQA review and permitting may be streamlined for projects that are consistent with a Climate Action Plan and accompanying development checklist, once developed. Therefore, a Climate Action Plan can provide project applicants in Woodland with a consistent, predictable, and streamlined approach to greenhouse gas emission analysis and mitigation requirements for CEQA compliance.
Additionally, CAPs and energy-efficiency plans are a requirement for many state and federal grant processes. With adoption and implementation of the CAP, the City of Woodland is prepared to meet grant application requirements when grant opportunities arise.