The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation by Sen. Catherine Blakespear, D-Encinitas, to ensure cities and counties have the information they need to combat global warming and make reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
SB 511 would direct the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to prepare inventories of greenhouse gas emissions for cities and counties to use in their preparation of Climate Action Plans and efforts to reduce GHG emissions in local communities.
Approved on a bipartisan 37-0 vote, the bill goes next to the Assembly for consideration.
“We are facing a climate crisis, and it’s crucial that we do all we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Blakespear said. “By creating this inventory, SB 511 will help local governments meet climate goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The urgency has been underscored by the latest forecast made by the World Meteorological Organization, which predicted recently that the next five years will likely be the hottest ever recorded on Earth.
According to climate scientists, rising temperatures have fueled heat waves, wildfires, droughts, super storms and other environmental challenges.
Some cities and counties do track their GHG emissions, however, many local governments, including vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, do not have the expertise or funding to measure their emissions.
“As a former mayor, I know many cities are committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions,” Blakespear said. “Providing an inventory gives local governments a roadmap on how to best do that.”
The bill would provide a $2.5 million appropriation to CARB to do the work. By directing CARB to assemble and share GHG emission inventories with local governments, SB 511 would ensure emissions across the state are being tracked in a uniform and consistent manner.
Reliable data not only assist local governments in their planning and efforts but also help the state accurately analyze trends and progress. The state has set a goal of reducing GHG emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.
Elected in November, Blakespear represents Senate District 38, which covers northern coastal San Diego County and part of Orange County.