Every little bit helps when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Each of the residents here in Newark, California can make a significant contribution to decreasing its harmful effects.
To help motivate residents commit to reducing the harmful effects of greenhouse gas emissions, the City of Newark is working to lead by example. On January 28, 2010, the City of Newark adopted the Climate Action Plan Initial Framework. This document was completed as a result of a generous grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The plan includes actions the City has successfully implemented, as well as sections that guide the City, residents, and businesses to participate in future greenhouse gas emissions reduction activities. Based upon resources and interest, the plan will continuously be updated to reflect changes in this rapidly evolving field.
The Climate Action Plan represents the City’s commitment to increasing sustainability, and accomplishes yet another goal in addressing climate change. The City has now completed 3 of the 5 step process established by ICLEI, an organization that is leading the way for local governments to take action on climate issues. The five step process is:
Step 1. Inventory Baseline Emissions - ICLEI assisted the City of Newark in collecting 2005 data to create an inventory of baseline emissions from the government (City operations) and community (residential and business) sectors.
Step 2. Set a Reduction Goal(s) - The City of Newark aligned its goals with the State of California, and included them in the Climate Action Plan (see link below).
Step 3. Create an Action Plan - The Climate Action Plan initial Framework was adopted by the Newark City Council on January 28, 2010. This plan includes reports on emission reduction projects such as the Recreation Centers Lighting Fixture Replacement, as well as research on potential future projects such as increasing our alternative fueled vehicle fleet and station. An additional report on energy efficiency options for the Silliman Activity and Family Aquatic Center is also attached.
Step 4. Implement the Action Plan - The City of Newark will seek grants and other opportunities to pursue action plan activities. Community outreach will be included, when City resources are able to coordinate these efforts.
Step 5. Monitor the Results - The City of Newark has access to many local government tools to evaluate the greenhouse gas emission reductions from Climate Action Plan activities. Using these tools and sharing our success stories with each other will ensure we continue and replicate those activities which provide the best results.
Just as the City created its action plan, you can create your own plan for you and your family. First, start by taking inventory of your greenhouse gas emissions. Many websites offer calculators to establish your current emissions. You may be surprised by what you are already doing to contribute to a greener Newark!
Next, write down ways you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One great resource, which includes simple actions you can adopt now, is the California Air Resources Board. You can also find additional ideas on recycling, driving, and energy efficiency. Review your plan and set a realistic, achievable goal with a specific time-frame and target reduction number.
Share your plan with friends and family. Encourage them to create a plan, and support each other in reaching your goals. Review your plan regularly, and make changes as needed to ensure your actions will allow you to achieve your goal.
Please share your personal climate action plan with us, too! Email your plan, or a simple pledge, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for helping Newark “Go Green”!