Zero Carbon by 2030 is a list of proposed greenhouse gas reduction strategies for Santa Cruz City and County to implement in the next ten years. SCCAN has compiled a list of greenhouse gas reduction strategies and recommendations that will address the local challenges of climate change moving forward. Support the campaign here.

Shelter in place art by community people made a beautiful banner

These community requests focus on increasing access to clean, renewable energy and public transportation across the city and county. Read the full document outlining the specific suggestions and areas of improvement below:

Introduction and Overview

The Santa Cruz Climate Action Network has focused on identifying strategies to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and recommending ways both the city and county can address climate change for a number of years, including the recent Climate Emergency Resolutions.

Santa Cruz county’s early response to the current global pandemic places the county among one of the least affected in the State. California itself displayed leadership as one of the first to act on the data and take corrective measures to protect its citizenry.

Cut Emissions

In order to meet emissions goals, transportation and building energy inefficiencies need to be resolved. This involves encouraging telecommuting and building pedestrian and bike friendly infrastructure. Outreach on the benefits of car free commuting, incentivizing car pooling and providing financial support for bus passes and electric vehicles are different strategies to reach this goal.

Get Off Fossil Fuels

Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy is essential in fighting climate change. In order to do this, the city and county need to electrify public transportation and require rooftop solar electricity in new construction. All new construction buildings should be zero carbon, and electric battery powered tools should be encouraged over gas powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers. In a future stage both the City and County need to mount a campaign to move existing buildings to zero fossil fuels and make dramatic improvement in energy efficiency.”

Reduce emissions from forestry and traditional farming methods

This area focuses on agriculture and forestry, two areas of human land use produce high levels of GHG emissions. Solutions suggested include encouraging urban planning that mitigates human caused wildfires and providing education and financial support for regenerative agriculture. In addition, education on plant based diets and food waste reduction programs should be implemented.

Natural carbon sequestration, or removal of carbon from the atmosphere, is possible with investment in tree planting. Native plant landscaping, coastal redwood habitat restoration and supporting pollinators will contribute to reducing GHGs.

Show Your Support

Between October 2019 and Feb 2020 we collected 1084 local signatures on 79 sheets of paper for Zero Carbon by 2030 by tabling at numerous events. The first 60 sheets were submitted to city and county officials before the COVID shut down.

==================================

NOTE This is NOT intended to be a Resolution or Ordinance. Ideally, it helps inform the new climate plans. A positive response (once the virus crisis eases significantly) would be give the document to the county/city manager and ask them to pass each section to the department that handles that issue, ask department heads to respond within 30 days with items they have already implemented or items currently in process and approx. release date AND new ideas they are willing to investigate.

Additional Ideas – see extra page