The Contra Costa County Climate Leaders (4CL) program is a network assisting the county and its 19 cities to inform, support and encourage the measurement and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Through education and sharing of best practices we will ensure sustainable, healthy and livable cities.

October 2009

October 2009

Funding

4CL Workshop Materials Available Online: Get More Money in your City and County!

Find presentations on the upcoming funding opportunities available to non-entitlement cities, regional coordination funding possibilities and other information from 4CL’s last workshop, “Putting it all together: Immediate Funding and Program Opportunities for CCC Local Governments- EECBG, SEP, & Beyond”. Find the presentations from the workshop as well as speaker handouts online . online .

Local City News

The City of El Cerrito Started an Environmental Newsletter!

El Cerrito has created a great newsletter for their city detailing upcoming events, activities and opportunities for residential involvement. Examples include special recycling events, city-wide garage sales, tree planting and Climate Action Workshops! Read the September issue . Could your city initiate a newsletter like this one?

Bay-Delta Listed as a Nationally Important Waterway in need of Restoration

Lisa Jackson, the US EPA Administrator, put the San Francisco Bay-Delta on the “short-list of nationally important waterways in need of restoration” when she spoke at the ninth “State of the Estuary” conference in Oakland recently. Problems with the Bay-Delta estuary date back to the Gold Rush, but have become more critical due to the collapse of fish populations in recent years. Currently, there is both an ecological crisis in the Delta as well as a water supply crisis which needs to be addressed during the restoration efforts. See the article .

Other City News

The Power of 86 Million Americans: 1000 Mayors Committed to Climate Action

The US Conference of Mayors through the Mayor’s Climate Protection Center presents selected profiles of Mayoral leadership around the nation. See what the Mayors are encouraging and requiring in their cities in order to fight Climate Change and reduce GHG emissions. Read the profiles detailing the cities goals, actions and plans to keep emission reductions a priority.

Portland, Oregon Continues Biodiesel Efforts

In July 2007, Portland became the first city in the country to pass a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the only jurisdiction in the country with a 5% blend of biodiesel requirement. In February 2009, Portland continued its biodiesel efforts by contracting with Gorge Analytical, LLC to conduct fuel inspections including the testing and sampling of 100% biodiesel (B100). See the press release .

MotorWeek: “Clean Cities Success Stories” on PBS

A new bi-weekly segment showcasing Clean Cities coalition efforts to expand the use of alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technologies is being aired on PBS. Check your local listings to see when the program will air in your area. The show is produced by Maryland Public Television’s MotorWeek program and started airing nationwide in September.

Legislation

Nation’s First Greenhouse Gas Reporting System to Begin in 2010

Starting January 1, 2010, large GHG emitters will be required to collect and report data. Approximately 85% of the nation’s GHG emissions will be covered under this monitoring system. Through this process, it will be clearer where the nation’s GHG emissions are coming from and this will guide the development of the best policies and programs to reduce emissions. Data will also allow businesses to track their own emissions, enable comparisons to similar facilities and assist in identifying cost-effective methods for emission reduction. Facilities which emit 25,000 metric tons or more of CO2 will be required to annually report their emissions. States, municipalities and tribes could also be required to submit an annual report if they own or operate facilities subject to the rule, such as landfills or stationary combustion equipment. See if you will be required to report through EPA’s Applicability Tool . Review the guide for state and local agencies. More information is available here .

Advisors Skeptical about Climate Policy by the End of the Year

Due to competition with overhauling the health care system and adding financial restrictions on Wall Street, Obama’s top energy advisor believes that climate legislation will not be signed by December. However, the advisor still believes that the US can play a leading role in the Copenhagen climate discussions even if US policy is not passed by that time. See the article .

Impacts

Waste Reduction and Recycling: Significant Opportunity for GHG Emissions Reduction

The EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) released a report titled, “Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials Management and Land Management Practices”. The report suggests that the American methods for material procurement, production, delivering and disposing of goods and services accounts for 42% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. It suggests that the emissions saved from waste reduction, recycling and improved product design could be significant. Learn more and find links to the report.

Tree Movement Documented

A study of 166 sites around the world shows that trees are advancing to higher latitudes and higher elevations at more than half of the locales. The key factor in colonization of new areas appeared to be whether winter temperatures had risen in the past century. The warmer the winters became, the more pronounced was the tree movement. Average increases of 2 degrees C (3.6 F) were noted for the winter temperatures at 77 sites over the past century.

Bay Area Impacts

With an increase of technology and better mapping techniques, scientists are better understanding what effects climate change will have on a smaller scale. As the technology is improving, the negative and possibly catastrophic consequences of the changing climate are also becoming clearer. The emerging consensus is that the Bay Area, renowned for its biodiversity, faces a dramatic loss of native plant and animal species. Also in the cards: more floods, wildfires, drought, and air pollution. See the full article .

Economics

US Chamber of Commerce Loses Support

Several high profile businesses including Nike, Apple and PG&E have resigned or left the US Chamber of commerce based upon its recent actions with regard to GHG emission control. The US Chamber of Commerce has been opposed to the EPA’s GHG control under the clean air act and the Waxman-Markey climate change bill. More business are expected to defect from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. View an article .

Britain Planning on a Recession to Reach Climate Goals?

Britain will have to stop building airports, switch to electric cars, and shut down coal-fired power stations as part of a “planned recession” to avoid dangerous climate change. The UK is committed to cutting greenhouse gases by a third by 2020. However, a new report from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said these targets are inadequate to keep global warming below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. The report indicates that the only way to avoid going beyond the dangerous tipping point is to double the target to 70% by 2020. This would mean reducing the size of the economy through a “planned recession”. See the article .

Upcoming Events: October/November 2009

Lessons Learned: Creating the Chicago Climate Action Plan

October, 21st, Webinar

This ICLEI webinar will provide insight into the City of Chicago’s innovative approach to climate action planning, and will address key lessons from this experience including 1) How partnerships shaped the climate action planning process 2) What resources were used to develop the plan 3 ) How the Chicago Climate Action Plan concurrently tackles climate change mitigation and climate adaption and 4) How other communities can benefit from Chicago’s rigorous research. See more information .

Climate Change/Climate Justice

October 28th, San Francisco

What is going to be accomplished by “cap-and-trade?” How are the effects of climate change already appearing on the planet’s and the Bay Area’s ecosystems? A month before the Copenhagen Climate Conference, join speakers from Eco-Equity, Stanford University, Habitat Restoration at Audubon Canyon Ranch, and GGNRA and Nature in the City to learn more. See the event .

San Francisco’s Green Festival

November 13th-15th, San Francisco

Find out how Bay Area neighbors, community nonprofits and city departments are working together to make their cities healthier places to live at the 7th annual SF Green Festival. The festival will highlight economic and environmental sustainability issues, and help participants navigate this unusually uncertain time by offering ideas for attainable change. Learn more and purchase festival passes here .

Berkeley Sustainability Summit and Green Gathering

November 19th, Berkeley

The Ecology Center and the City of Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development will be hosting this event. Listen to a whirlwind of short presentations on local sustainability efforts, savor delicious food from three local green caterers, and have your mind stimulated by keynote speaker Robert Reich, renowned economist, professor, and author of Supercapitalism. Tickets go on sale October 20th. Visit here for more information.

Other

Eco-Friendly Asphalt

The asphalt industry has been under pressure to reduce diesel and petroleum derivatives used in road repair products. Many lethal carcinogens are used in the creation of asphalt. These compounds have been linked to many human health issues, the destruction of marine life as well as soil and groundwater contamination. In response to these issues, a New York company has created GreenPatch. GreenPatch is a sustainable, recyclable and non-toxic replacement for the traditional asphalt; the toxic additives have been replaced with biodegradable, plant based solvents. This new product has earned widespread acceptance on governmental and industrial fronts in the greater New York area as well as Connecticut, New Jersey and the New England region. The market is continuing to grow throughout the entire east coast and Midwestern states. See a press release .