Residents get their first look at Oceanside’s Energy/Climate Action Element

Residents get their first look at Oceanside’s Energy/Climate Action Element
Residents and project staff discuss local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The city is asking for sustainability hero nominations to include in plans as inspiring examples. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — Residents got a first look at Oceanside’s Energy/Climate Action Element that aims to reduce city greenhouse gas and promote sustainable energy at a workshop on Oct. 19.

Stations shared NASA data on global warming trends, federal and state mandates to lower greenhouse gas, and impacts of greenhouse gas at the city level. Local impacts include ocean acidification, carbon dioxide emissions and wildlife risk.

Most of those in attendance seemed well versed and supportive of reduction efforts.

A whiteboard was filled with ways residents already help promote the economy while they reduce greenhouse gas, such as commuting by bike and recycling.

A presentation and question and answer session was held towards the end of the workshop to review what was shared at information stations.

During the presentation city staff urged residents to think about their individual impacts on the environment through choices in transportation, work travel distance, food waste, and energy and water consumption.

Residents were asked what they would like to see happen at a city level. Suggestions included expanding public transportation, greater use of solar energy and increased recycling.

They were also encouraged to nominate local sustainability heroes, whose stories could be included in the city plan as inspiring examples.

The national focus on greenhouse gas reduction is fairly recent. Scientists began studying the problem in earnest about 20 years ago.

Legislation to reduce greenhouse gas followed, with some mandates focusing on business practices and others on cities greenhouse gas levels.

California cities are called on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and further reduce emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2035.

Oceanside is in the process of preparing a climate action plan that demonstrates efforts to reduce city greenhouse gas emissions and meet reduction thresholds.

The inclusion of an Energy/Climate Action Element in the General Plan ensures sustainability is considered in future city growth and changes.

“This will be the first time the city has developed a comprehensive strategy for reducing its carbon footprint,” Russ Cunningham, city principal planner, said.

A workshop on the Economic Development Element of the Master Plan was held on Oct. 27. The city is looking at shared ways the Energy/Climate Action Element and Economic Development Element can reduce greenhouse gas and grow the local economy.

The General Plan elements will receive more community input before they are brought to the City Council for approval in March 2018.

For more information contact city project manager Russ Cunningham at (760) 435-3525 or rcunningham@ci.oceanside.ca.us.

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