Facing higher temperatures and longer heat waves as time progresses, the South Pasadena City Council Nov. 18 is expected to approve a climate action plan two years in the making.
By William J. Kelly
Easing gridlock and cutting auto use, particularly for local trips to stores, schools, and parks, will be key to successfully carrying out the plan, according to South Pasadena Public Works Director Shahid Abbas. He made his remarks late last month when the city’s Natural Resources & Environmental Commission approved the 200-plus-page blueprint for reducing greenhouse gases and adapting to a warmer climate.
Cutting transportation emissions, the plan shows, will involve boosting electric vehicle use in the city by increasing the number and accessibility of charging stations. It also will entail developing local shared transit programs, potentially including city-sponsored rideshare services.
The other major transportation strategy will be to facilitate more “active transportation” by creating complete streets that make it easier and more pleasant to bike and walk. Fortunately, money for such transportation measures has been freed up by the demise of the 710 Freeway.
The plan, developed by Rincon Consultants with a state-funded grant, shows transportation emissions from local trips account for 52 percent of climate warming emissions in South Pasadena. That’s more than 62,000 tons a year.
The other major source of emissions is from energy use, namely using electricity and natural gas in buildings. By joining the Clean Power Alliance, a public organization that provides electricity in many areas of Los Angeles and Ventura County, at the 100 percent renewable energy level, South Pasadena already has eliminated about 24,000 tons a year of emissions. That’s about 19 percent of its total. Natural gas use results in a bit more than 24,000 tons a year, with the remainder coming from water pumping and waste management operations.
Emissions in the city total more than 125,000 tons a year. State emissions reduction requirements are projected to cut that by 2045 by about 60,000 tons a year. The local plan aims to cut an additional 33,000 tons annually, with some 10,000 tons a year of cuts coming from the transportation sector.
The bulk of the remaining reductions would come from phasing out use of natural gas in buildings by increasing use of electric appliances for heating, water heating, and cooking, first in new and later in existing buildings as worn out appliances are replaced. The extent to which natural gas is phased out may depend in part on advances in induction stovetops, which currently are less than optimal for wok-style cooking.
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