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Monday, October 25, 2021

Yolo County to review climate action legislation

Today the Yolo County Planning Commission is scheduled to review the Climate Action Plan. The plan, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, was released on Dec. 17 and will be seen by the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 1.

“This represents a significant milestone for Yolo County,” said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chair Matt Rexroad in press-release, “which has a long history of being in the forefront of the green movement with land use policies that emphasize growth management, open space preservation and agricultural protection.”

The current draft of the Climate Action Plan proposes a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years. The plan includes 15 proposed programs, some of which include increasing renewable energy production, enhancing energy and water conservation and expanding alternative transportation.

“In 2008, the unincorporated portion of the county was estimated to have generated 651,470 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents,” said David Morrison, assistant director of Development Services in the Yolo County Planning and Public Works Department, in an e-mail.

This excludes official cities, tribal lands, the UC Davis campus and other state and federal lands.

According to Morrison, much of the Climate Action Plan’s goals for 2030 will rely on several main measures. These include establishing the Community Choice Aggregation program that would allow Yolo County to buy and sell electrical energy for residents, businesses and municipal users. This also requires new construction to be built to higher energy conservation standards and new riparian forests, hedgerows and permanent crops. 

“Together these measures will achieve between 80 percent and 85 percent of the greenhouse reduction goal for 2020 and target for 2030,” Morrison said. 

The city of Davis has a climate action plan as well, the Cool Davis Initiative (CDI). While CDI is not directly part of the Climate Action Plan, it still complements it. The goal CDI is to get at least 75 percent of Davis households to reduce their energy use through a variety of different ways.

According to Morrison, if the Board of Supervisors adopts the Climate Action Plan, there are various things that will need to be done to implement each recommended action of the plan. 

“This will include new ordinances to change the existing building standards, new educational programs to assist farmers with reducing their greenhouse gas emissions…and incentive programs set up to help improve the energy efficiency of existing homes and farms,” Morrison said.

ANNABEL SANDHU can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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