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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

City of Davis holds meeting for community review of 2020-2040 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

City remains committed to its goals of carbon neutrality by 2040 through a community-based approach to environmental sustainability  


By YAN YAN HUSTIS HAYES — city@theaggie.org


On Nov. 10, the City of Davis held a workshop to discuss the 29 actions that it has identified in the 2020-2040 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) process. The workshop allowed the community to review the recommended draft actions and provide feedback.

At the CAAP workshop, AECOM City Climate Action Plan lead Joshua Lathan said that evaluating potential actions using the city’s Action Selection and Prioritization (ASAP) tool and review from the technical advisory committee, the CAAP team was able to identify the 29 prioritized actions.

“We evaluat[ed] these actions to understand their greenhouse gas reduction potential, their climate risk potential, their contribution to important community co-benefits and high level implementation feasibility,” Lathan said. “This approach allows us to consider the relative values for those differing types of measures using a systematic, consistent approach.”

The CAAP identifies four key draft action categories including building energy and design, transportation and land use, water and solid waste and climate risk and carbon removal. Lathan explained that because transportation and land use actions are related to nearly 75% of the city’s emissions, the sector has greater representation within the draft priority action list.

“Seventy percent of total community emissions are coming from on-road transportation and the majority of those emissions are from trips that are coming to or going out of Davis,” Lathan said. “For this reason, we wanted to include draft actions that help people get into Davis with low or zero carbon emissions and make sure that we provided options so that people can move around within the city in low and zero carbon ways too.”

The CAAP workshop gave community members an opportunity to ask questions or express concerns about the plan. Community member Stephen Wheeler said that the plan could take bolder actions.

“Many of the things in this plan are great, but it is lacking in inspiration,” Wheeler said. “It should have bold and meaningful actions that both get Davis to zero emissions and establish it as a global leader. We can be bolder.”

City of Davis Sustainability Coordinator and Climate Action and Adaptation Plan manager Kerry Loux explained that this 2020-2040 CAAP is an update to a climate action plan from 2010 that is set to bring the City into compliance with updates in state legislation.

“[It’s] a very aggressive goal,” Loux said. “The state has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2045 so we’re trying to identify actions that we can do in our community to get there. This CAAP approach is intended to create measurable actions that can be enforced and implemented.”

While it is important for Davis to reach this state-wide goal, Loux emphasized the importance of taking a community-based approach.

“The actions that we’ve identified — this CAAP is being developed with significant community engagement,” Loux said. “Rather than telling the community [what] to do, we’re going out to the community and asking what [they] think we should do.”

While draft-prioritized actions do run through the filter of professional expertise to ensure that they are appropriate for the Davis community, the CAAP process is grounded in community input. Because of this, developing, evaluating and implementing ideas can take longer, said Loux.

“We really elected to take a process that is based on community input, and we’re getting to the point now of finalizing these actions from all of the community input we’ve had,” Loux said. “Our approach hasn’t provided all of the answers yet, but the reason for that is that it is a community engagement based approach not an expert-only approach.”

In addition to the technical advisory committee that is largely composed of UC Davis faculty and students, the larger UC Davis student body is also encouraged to participate in the CAAP process, according to Loux.

“Even if you don’t live in Davis, you’re going to school here and participating in the community and having awareness about how we’re going to get to carbon neutrality is really important,” Loux said. “There are so many engaging and informed voices from people at UC Davis. We’re hoping to get a lot of input from students and the best way for people to stay engaged is to check out our website.”

More information about the Davis CAAP and recordings of previous public workshops can be found on the City website. Community members are also encouraged to post on the virtual public forum.

Written by: Yan Yan Hustis Hayes — city@theaggie.org


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