The Climate Center just released the new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report for Sonoma County for 2016. The good news is that emissions from electricity have gone down since the inception of Sonoma Clean Power, the region’s Community Choice Energy program. The reduction of emissions in electricity was so significant that Sonoma County’s overall GHG emissions were lower in 2016 than they were in 1990 even though the County’s population increased during this same period.
As other communities throughout California consider Community Choice Energy, Sonoma County’s GHG report offers them powerful proof that Community Choice Energy works to lower GHG emissions.
The report also reveals that Sonoma County, similar to other communities, is challenged to reduce emissions produced by transportation. This sector now accounts for about 70% of Sonoma County’s emissions.
But there is good news here, too. Currently proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 1745 introduced by Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco, would require that all new passenger vehicles registered in California are zero-emissions starting in 2040. The Climate Center is squarely behind passing this legislation (although it is advocating for the year to be 2030), and views it as a climate game-changer in much the same way that Community Choice Energy is. Good policies like these unleash market forces and make it easier for everyone to live better and save money while reducing GHG emissions.
Greenhouse gas accounting such as The Climate Center used in its report, cuts through spin to reveal the truth of what our energy choices are doing to the atmosphere. The data in this report plainly show what we must do to address the climate crisis at the speed and scale scientists tell us is required. The report comes at a time when a reasonable policy solution for clean cars is on the table. With a massive push from the public, legislators will vote “yes” for AB 1745 and a clean energy future for California.