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City Committee Adopts Resolution Declaring Climate Emergency

Published on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 | 6:16 am

The Municipal Services Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt the resolution to declare a climate emergency and set greenhouse gas reduction goals for Pasadena to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

“The City Council hereby sets a policy goal to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 in advance of the 2045 recommended target outlined in CARB’s (California Air Resources Board) 2022 Scoping Plan, as is practicable while maintaining reliability and affordability of service,” Section 3 of the resolution states.

Before voting on the item, the Committee approved certain changes to the resolution.

It specifically amended Section 4 to read: “The City Council hereby directs the City Manager to utilize the 2o23 IRP (Integrated Resource Plan) process to optimize the affordability, stability, and reliability of electricity associated with achieving the goals described in Section 3.”

In March 2018, the city adopted a Climate Action Plan (CAP) based on the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 that focuses on five specific GHG reduction strategies namely, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Sustainable Mobility and Land Use, Solid Waste Reduction, Water Conservation and Urban Greening. 

The City is currently finalizing its first comprehensive GHG Emissions Inventory that evaluates actual and forecasted emissions to gauge the effectiveness of the plan. 

Over the years, the city “made significant progress on CAP goals including the commitment to phase out all fossil fuel generating resources, acceleration of electric vehicle adoption in Pasadena, ordinances that encourage clean power technology in buildings and community maintenance practices, prohibition of polystyrene food packaging and drought mitigation policies,” according to Pasadena Water and Power’s report. 

Members of the City Council thanked all who pushed for the adoption of the resolution declaring a climate emergency, including Pasadena 100, a coalition of local organizations advocating for the city to transition to 100 % carbon-free energy by 2030.

“I want to thank everyone here today. Kudos to Pasadena 100. This is a prime and perfect example of grassroots citizen action becoming policy and I know it’s been a long road to get here but I thank you for the work you have done on behalf of our city,” Councilmember Jason Lyon said. 

“It was really really important for me to reiterate and underscore our leadership position as a city and recognize a climate emergency,” Vice Mayor Felicia Williams said. “Over the years, we have not been as aggressive in our policies. I think our climate action plan… is going to be great. We can be a lot stronger in our climate action plan, this policy allows us to really focus and do that.” 

The resolution, along with the proposed changes, will come to the City Council’s Jan. 30th meeting.

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