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Davis, California

Friday, September 24, 2021

PG&E funding helps Davis track greenhouse gas emissions

The City of Davis will be able to track its greenhouse gas emissions with the help of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). PG&E committed $15,000 to the City of Davis to invest in bringing their energy and greenhouse gas inventories up-to-date.

Benefits of the program include analyzing and tracking the city’s energy consumption, transportation, fuel use and waste production. It will also put efforts toward finding ways to reduce local energy consumption.

“Our partnership with PG&E’s Green Communities Program is a pioneer initiative in the state and essential for the city of Davis to understand the true carbon footprint of our facilities,” said Mitch Sears, sustainability programs manager of the City of Davis in a press release.

As part of their Green Communities Program, the updated inventory and forecasts will be included in the city’s existing Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, adopted in 2010.

The Green Communities Program is an incentive for communities to start working to track and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is a starting point for local governments to address and take action toward climate and energy issues.

A community intern, hired by the city and paid for with the funding, will complete the work for this project. Therefore, there will be no cost to the city. Additionally, by working with a researcher from UC Davis, the City of Davis will make sure they are meeting state goals. The updated greenhouse gas emissions inventories are scheduled to be released by the end of this fall.

“PG&E’s work with the City of Davis through the utility’s Green Communities Program is especially exciting because Davis was the first city in the nation to voluntarily inventory its greenhouse gas emissions,” said Lisa McNally, senior program manager for the Green Communities Program at PG&E, in a press release. “This made PG&E all the more eager to partner with the City of Davis, providing the opportunity to update the city’s emissions measurements and incorporate them into its existing Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.”

California is required to lower its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 by Assembly Bill 32, signed in 2006. In 2008, Davis conducted a community-wide inventory and made action on climate change one of its priorities.

The city directed staff to create a greenhouse gas emission reduction plan for the city itself and the community as a whole. Davis was the first city to voluntarily commit to complete the measurement under the Climate Registry protocol, which outlines how to properly report greenhouse gas emissions.

“This update to the 2008 Davis greenhouse gas emissions report will help the community understand where we’ve made progress and what steps to take next to move toward our net-zero carbon goals,” Sears said.

Now more than 200 communities in Northern and Central California have conducted a greenhouse gas inventory with the help of the Green Communities Program and funding by PG&E.

“It’s wonderful the city received this grant so it can track its progress towards it goals,” said Professor Susan L. Handy, environmental science and policy department chair of UC Davis.

PAAYAL ZAVERI can be reached at city@theaggie.org. 

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