By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions has long been a priority for Santa Rosa.
In 2005, the city set aggressive goals of reducing emissions to year 2000 levels by 2010, and to 1990 levels by 2020.
Is it working?
“We have no idea,” city planner Gillian Hayes acknowledged.
Because of staff reductions and the budget constraints, the city has not devoted resources toward figuring out if any progress has been made.
But armed with a new Department of Energy grant, the city has hired a consultant to help it come up with a Climate Action Plan that does just that.
The plan will set a baseline for greenhouse gas emissions, forecast future emissions, and explore other possible emission-reduction ideas to help the city meet local and state-wide goals, Hayes said.
“I want to grab people and pick their brains and find out what else they are thinking,” Hayes said.
Ideas will be evaluated to determine their effectiveness and likely costs, and will then be prioritized. The end goal of the work is to have a set of consistent greenhouse gas reduction standards that streamline future development projects, Hayes said.
The work is being funded through a $200,000 chunk of a $1.5 million federal Department of Energy grant the city was awarded in 2009.
The city kicks off the work with a community workshop on Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Bennett Valley Senior Center, 704 Bennett Valley Road.