The city of Davis’ Climate Action Team recently completed an inventory regarding the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the study, it was revealed that 225,200 equivalent tons of carbon dioxide were emitted in 1990. If conditions remained constant, the city would produce 313,006 tons of emissions by 2015, according to the study.
While the numbers themselves are not encouraging, where the emissions are coming from is actually a positive.
According to the CAT inventory, transportation accounted for 57 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Davis in 1990. This number is, in a sense, both promising and discouraging. The fact that over 100,000 tons of emissions were released by transportation alone is certainly an issue, but it’s an issue that we as a community can resolve. Davis’ public transportation system and bicycle-oriented landscape means there’s little need to drive a personal car from place to place. Additional changes to infrastructure could further promote alternative transportation methods and a diminished reliance on personal automobiles.
The other 43 percent of emissions come from the residential and commercial sectors. By subsidizing local businesses, the city of Davis could help these entities to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner. CAT should expand its staff in order to offer consulting services to local businesses. UC Davis experts can be valuable consulting resources as well.
Another service that could help out members of the community would be to state exactly what kind of impact releasing 225,200 tons of greenhouse gases has on the environment. That number itself does not mean a whole lot to the average person, and further insight would increase awareness and concern.
Despite producing just 3 percent of the city’s emissions, the city government plans to lead by example in this effort, said Councilmember Stephen Souza. The city of Davis’ initiative is positive and is the first step of many that could ultimately eliminate some of the city’s emission problems.