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.

January 2010

January 2010

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Funding

Over $523 Million in Federal Funding Available for Climate and Energy Initiatives

Urban Circulator Program and Livability Bus Program

Projects to foster the redevelopment of urban spaces into walkable mixed use, high density environments. Projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment as well as to construct bus-related facilities. Deadline is 2/8/10. Learn more here.

Source Reduction Assistance

Projects for GHG reduction, toxic & hazardous materials reduction, resource conservation, efficient business practices, and pollution prevention integration activities. Deadline is 2/4/10. Learn more here.

Weatherization Assistance Program

Funds to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential expenditures, and improve their health and safety. Response due by 8/1/10. Learn more here.

Weatherization Training Centers and Programs

Funds to develop or expand weatherization training centers and training programs. Deadline is 1/21/10. Learn more here.

Community Action and the Environment

Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program is community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns from all sources. Deadline is 3/9/10. Learn more here.

Metropolitan Transportation Commission Approves Climate-related Funding

MTC approved $80 million in new climate-related funding for the next 3 years. The key items are: $10 million for a public information campaign, $17 million for Safe Routes to Schools projects and $36 million to Innovative Grants.

Local City News

Strategic Energy Innovations has Developed Sustainable Education Lessons

SEI created lessons focusing on climate, energy, transportation and waste for elementary grade levels. They are seeking funding to provide training to teachers in the West CCC School District, so they can implement this program. At the same time, they are looking for teachers in the District who would be interested in becoming trained to teach units about climate protection and sustainability in general. The training will equip teachers with tools, a teacher’s manual, and ongoing support to carry out the program. Please contact Sandy Wallenstein at 415-507-2183 or sandy@seiinc.org if you are interested in pursuing this potential opportunity.

Other City News

San Leandro OKs Plan to Reduce GHG Emissions

San Leandro’s Climate Action Plan requires a 25% reduction of the city’s 2005 GHG emission levels by the target date of 2020. The Plan states that global warming is primarily caused by human action, lists several threats posed by that warming and presents a blueprint for action. While generally well received, the Plan had one major issue of debate, a “point-of-sale” requirement. If passed, this would have required that newly sold homes meet energy efficiency upgrades such as weather-stripping and energy-efficient light bulbs. There was opposition against having a point-of-sale requirement because of the current economy. When the plan was revised to turn the point-of-sale requirement into recommended standards, the plan was unanimously approved by the city council. See the full article here.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence, has teamed with the Syracuse University School of Architecture and a local nonprofit developer called Home HeadQuarters in an unusual real estate experiment. The center is investing in companies that use less fossil fuel in building affordable homes, outfitting them, and supplying them with energy. Several initiatives are helping to build sustainable communities in Syracuse through technological innovation and entrepreneurship. See the full article here..

Legislation

The US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement

Only 4 out of our 19 Contra Costa Cities (El Cerrito, Hercules, Moraga and Richmond) have joined over 1,000 mayors in a nation-wide effort to reduce GHG emissions to the Kyoto target goals of 7% below 1990 emission levels by 2012. These cities will be primed for the passing of the clean energy bill in Congress and other future legislation. View the website here. to see the mayors’ efforts to reduce local emissions.

Copenhagen Conference News

The United Nations Climate Change Treaty Conference took place in Copenhagen, Denmark and had 119 Heads of state and government participating. The dignitaries represented countries that account for 89% of the world’s GDP, 82% of the world’s population, and 86% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As the conference ended, the White House announced that a “meaningful” climate deal had been salvaged with leaders from China, India, Brazil, and South Africa following a marathon series of closed-door negotiations. The Copenhagen Accord is seen as a first step in addressing climate change. The White House stated: “developed and developing countries have now agreed to listing their national actions and commitments, a finance mechanism, to set a mitigation target of 2 degrees Celsius and to provide information on the implementation of their actions through national communications with provisions for international consultations and analysis under clearly defined guidelines.” US legislation is expected in early 2010.

Pressure on Senate due to EPA’s Findings and Copenhagen Conclusion

In December, domestic and international events mounted pressure on the U.S. Senate to pass climate legislation. At home, the U.S. EPA released its long-awaited “endangerment finding” and the “cause or contribute” finding. These assessments trigger the requirement that the agency assess methods to regulate six climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The EPA clearly intends to move ahead with these regulations barring Federal intervention. Resolutions that would effectively veto the EPA’s endangerment finding have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate but it seems unlikely that such a veto will become law as a result of the decisions from the Copenhagen Conference. Senate’s response the Copenhagen has yet to be seen.

Other City News

San Leandro OKs Plan to Reduce GHG Emissions

San Leandro’s Climate Action Plan requires a 25% reduction of the city’s 2005 GHG emission levels by the target date of 2020. The Plan states that global warming is primarily caused by human action, lists several threats posed by that warming and presents a blueprint for action. While generally well received, the Plan had one major issue of debate, a “point-of-sale” requirement. If passed, this would have required that newly sold homes meet energy efficiency upgrades such as weather-stripping and energy-efficient light bulbs. There was opposition against having a point-of-sale requirement because of the current economy. When the plan was revised to turn the point-of-sale requirement into recommended standards, the plan was unanimously approved by the city council. See the full article here.

City of Syracuse, NY Helping to Build Sustainable Communities

The Syracuse Center of Excellence, has teamed with the Syracuse University School of Architecture and a local nonprofit developer called Home HeadQuarters in an unusual real estate experiment. The center is investing in companies that use less fossil fuel in building affordable homes, outfitting them, and supplying them with energy. Several initiatives are helping to build sustainable communities in Syracuse through technological innovation and entrepreneurship. See the full article here.

Legislation

The US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement

Only 4 out of our 19 Contra Costa Cities (El Cerrito, Hercules, Moraga and Richmond) have joined over 1,000 mayors in a nation-wide effort to reduce GHG emissions to the Kyoto target goals of 7% below 1990 emission levels by 2012. These cities will be primed for the passing of the clean energy bill in Congress and other future legislation. View the website here. to see the mayors’ efforts to reduce local emissions.

Copenhagen Conference News

The United Nations Climate Change Treaty Conference took place in Copenhagen, Denmark and had 119 Heads of state and government participating. The dignitaries represented countries that account for 89% of the world’s GDP, 82% of the world’s population, and 86% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As the conference ended, the White House announced that a “meaningful” climate deal had been salvaged with leaders from China, India, Brazil, and South Africa following a marathon series of closed-door negotiations. The Copenhagen Accord is seen as a first step in addressing climate change. The White House stated: “developed and developing countries have now agreed to listing their national actions and commitments, a finance mechanism, to set a mitigation target of 2 degrees Celsius and to provide information on the implementation of their actions through national communications with provisions for international consultations and analysis under clearly defined guidelines.” US legislation is expected in early 2010.

Pressure on Senate due to EPA’s Findings and Copenhagen Conclusion

In December, domestic and international events mounted pressure on the U.S. Senate to pass climate legislation. At home, the U.S. EPA released its long-awaited “endangerment finding” and the “cause or contribute” finding. These assessments trigger the requirement that the agency assess methods to regulate six climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The EPA clearly intends to move ahead with these regulations barring Federal intervention. Resolutions that would effectively veto the EPA’s endangerment finding have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate but it seems unlikely that such a veto will become law as a result of the decisions from the Copenhagen Conference. Senate’s response the Copenhagen has yet to be seen.

Upcoming events Local Environmental Events: January/February

Next Thursday night – January 20th

Cities are invited to see a street lighting demo of various technologies that that showcase the look and performance of the different lights available . Come learn and make the best decisions for your city! PG&E has developed a street light test bed in Santa Rosa. The demonstration includes 100w High Pressure Sodium lights, 56w Induction lights, and 56w LED lights. 1202 Apollo Way, Santa Rosa (at the corner of Apollo and Mercury) 6 to 7 pm. If questions call: 707-577-7130

“Carbon Cap and Trade: Issues from the Past, Lessons for the Future.” January 21st, Webcast

Panelists will discuss experiences to date with the carbon cap-and-trade systems now operating in the Northeast US and in the European Union. They will look at the lessons learned from those eperiences and what that means for the system currently being considered by Congress. here.

Commissioning: Everything You Want To Know January 21st, Walnut Creek.

Commissioning is perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of LEED. This program is meant to clarify the goals and process of commissioning. Commissioning helps assure that design and construction meet the stated design and performance goals, but what is it exactly? Learn more here.

Structuring the Business Deal: Integrated Project Delivery

January 26th, San Francisco. Projects must control cost, maximize value and meet critical sustainability goals. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a key strategy to address these challenges. In this seminar, learn from a panel of LEED credentialed attorneys who helped develop IPD and have extensive professional experience with implementing Integrated Project Delivery on several projects. The seminar will explore current contractual approaches and discuss IPD in CA public projects. Learn more and register here.

Green Power Purchasing Aggregations

January 28th, Webinar. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Green Power Partnership will host a free webinar on aggregating demand for green power. Learn more at here.

Climate and Grid-Neutrality for Public Schools

February 10, Webinar. Free webinar aimed at school district officials and others interested in seeing our public schools achieve climate and grid-neutrality. Webinar will take place approximately 1 month prior to the next round of low interest bonds called Qualified School Construction Bonds. These bonds are an excellent financial vehicle for the installation of renewable energy systems. Email here or visit here and here. for more information on the organization and upcoming webinar.

Other

Climate Scoreboard Resource

The Climate Scoreboard is an on-line tool to help negotiators, political leaders, non-governmental organizations, the media and citizens understand the state of the negotiations. You can visit the scoreboard for their analysis of the results of the Copenhagen conference. Visit here.

World’s Major Cities Pitch in to Push the Electric Car

In Copenhagen, 14 major world cities announced their plans to build more electric-vehicle infrastructure, such as charging stations, and to buy more of the vehicles for their public fleets. The cities will share information on their electrification plans. They hope to consult each other on matters of permitting for charging stations, incentives that lure the private sector, and getting the vehicles into the public eye. The group includes metropolises such as Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, Chicago and London. They will share findings and questions through the “C40” — a group of cities that want to act on climate. While some cities will favor passenger cars, others will try electric garbage trucks and buses.