2010 Trends: Counties ramping up emissions efforts

Energy efficiency, electric cars to be key to region's climate-protection plans

NORTH BAY - North Bay actions to meet state and local goals in the next five to 10 years for putting a lid on human-caused climate change are poised to heat up this year.

Transportation-related emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change account for half or more of such emissions in the Bay Area, according to regional air-quality officials. Second to that are calculated emissions from energy use in homes and businesses. So local efforts to turn back the dial on emissions are focusing on changing the mix of vehicles, transportation habits and energy efficiency in structures.

Sonoma County

In line with reducing emissions from buildings and transportation, Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority will be focusing this year on expanding the nationally recognized energy-efficiency project financing program as well as installing a network of charging stations for the planned arrival of a fleet of electric cars this fall.

“The goal is to retrofit 80 percent of the buildings in the county to have a 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency performance,” said David Brennan, climate protection coordinator.

The county’s governments have set a more aggressive carbon-cutting goal than the state, calling for a 25 percent reduction in emissions below 1990 levels by 2015.

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