On Tuesday, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors met to discuss adopting a climate action plan. However, they ended up deciding to delay the decision.
Comments on the plan poured in, some arriving during the meeting itself. The board decided, as a result, to review these last-minute comments and take them into account as part of their final decision.
This plan has been years in the making. The final draft outlines measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions locally, with the aim of getting the county to carbon neutrality.
The plan does not provide a clear target year for when it will reach this goal. But it indicates that within one year of its adoption, the county must identify that target year. This work will be done with the help of a Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force, which was formed earlier this year.
“A climate emergency response plan … would need to be completed within one year of adoption, and that would include any additional measures needed to reach carbon neutrality,” said Todd Smith, the county’s planning director, prior to the meeting. “That's a lot of work left to do. We recognize that, but we think that we're up to it.”
The path to getting to this moment has been controversial. Some environmental groups have pushed back against the plan, saying that it doesn’t do enough to cut carbon emissions quickly. One change made to the plan’s final draft was to cut a measure requiring that new growth be carbon neutral.
In a comment provided at Tuesday’s meeting, Barbara Leary, chair of the Sierra Club’s Sacramento chapter, said that she was “dismayed” to hear of the measure’s removal and asked for it to be reintroduced.
“We really can’t afford to go on developing and doing business as usual,” said Leary. “We want a livable future for our residents and future residents.”
Others commenters expressed concerns that the plan’s measures to transition homes from gas to electric appliances will be costly for homeowners.
County planning director Smith said it’s important that the county adopt the plan sooner rather than later. When it is enacted, he added, staff focused on implementing the plan will provide regular updates on its progress. Smith said that there will also be opportunities to adjust and add to the plan in response to how it is performing and to solicit public input when necessary, after adoption.
A meeting to decide on whether or not to adopt the plan will be scheduled for sometime in November or early December.
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