With the hopes of reducing carbon emissions in an attempt to halt climate change, Santa Monica has committed to spending nearly one billion dollars over the next ten years. Unanimously approved by the City Council, the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan will allow officials to spend $833-million dollars as they want to reduce carbon emissions to under twenty percent of the levels they were at in 1990. Further, they’ve set a goal to achieve this by 2030.
This plan also proposes a number of plans to protect the city from the consequences of climate change. Officials outlined ways to combat high temperatures, poor air quality, drought, and even coastal flooding.
The Climate Action and Adaptation Plan will drastically reduce emissions by having buildings reduce their reliance on fossil fuels, decreasing the number of drivers on roads, and increasing the waste that gets recycled or composted. As an additional step, Santa Monica has announced that they will stop importing water by 2023 in order to reduce the chances that they will experience regional droughts. They also hope to shield the city’s population from natural disasters, coastal flooding, and increased temperatures that result from climate change.
According to the figures, it will cost nearly $78-million to fund long-term projects that will increase access to water during regional droughts. However, this will also work with a plan to protect Santa Monica residents from the consequences of flooding. Today, nearly $109-million of the real estate is in zones that are at risk of coastal flooding.
Recently, the City Council approved $383-million in funding, and future councils will need to approve the rest of the funding in order to increase the chances of this plan’s success. The plan also looks to work hand-in-hand with state sustainability policies that will work to further reduce local emissions by nearly forty percent. Likewise, the City Council of Santa Monica would commit to reducing an additional forty percent of emissions. They have introduced a plan that would result in a reduction of twenty-six percent by converting most local trips to vehicles that rely on clean energy. For example, they will encourage walking, riding bikes, taking scooters, or other similar vehicles. According to recent figures, vehicle fuel emissions account for over two-thirds of the total emissions in Santa Monica.
With the hopes of achieving this goal, Santa Monica has begun to improve bike and pedestrian infrastructure, partnered with bike and scooter companies, and further increased the benefits of taking public transportation. The Climate Action and Adaptation Plan have set a goal of having over one thousand electrical vehicle charging ports by 2025. As of right now, the city will maintain 300 ports by 2020.
Next, the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan will provide renewable electricity to every building and will discourage new buildings from incorporating fossil fuels into their plans. They also hope to install solar panels to power nearly 75,000 homes. These two changes would account for a 21-percent decrease in local emissions.
Finally, the plan has expressed a desire to recycle and compost all waste. They would achieve this by requiring restaurants to utilize marine degradable utensils and containers as well as reducing their reliance on single-use materials. A citywide composting service would also be introduced to serve residents of Santa Monica.
Overall, the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan will uncover new, innovative ways to protect the citizens of Santa Monica from climate-related emergencies.