This May, the South Bay Cities Council of Governments  (SBCCOG) announced an award of $771,630 from Southern California Edison (SCE) to the SBCCOG to support and accelerate the climate action planning work in the South Bay.  SCE awarded funds to different local governments in its region to support the strategies and local government goals found in the California Public Utilities Commission’s California Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan.  SCE funded the SBCCOG to advance the Strategic Plan Goal 4: Local Governments lead their communities with innovative programs for energy efficiency, sustainability and climate change. With this funding, the SBCCOG and the South Bay cities will update greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories and develop the energy efficiency chapters for each city’s Climate Action Plan and for a South Bay sub-regional plan.

The SBCCOG and South Bay cities have been collaborating on climate action planning work for a number of years. After the California State Legislature adopted Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and set statewide goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, the cities and the SBCCOG began the process for local and sub-regional climate action planning. To develop baselines as a first step, the SBCCOG and the South Bay cities completed GHG inventories for both the municipal operations and communitywide activities for each city. Emissions resulting from municipal activities include energy use for city-owned facilities and out-door lighting, city and contract vehicle fleets, employee commutes and municipal waste. Community emissions are the result of the energy, transportation and waste activities from residents, businesses and industries within each city.

With an understanding of the major sources of GHG emissions, the SBCCOG has begun to work with the South Bay cities to collect existing best practices and discuss potential strategies. The SCE funds will enable the SBCCOG to accelerate this work and provide cities with the technical analysis and information to identify the environmental benefits and cost-effectiveness of different strategies. The SBCCOG also will develop a South Bay energy efficiency chapter, which will include potential energy efficiency strategies to consider implementing on a sub-regional level to maximize resources and improve efficiencies. 

As climate change legislation continues to be developed and adopted, local governments with visions for how to mitigate and plan for climate change will be well positioned both to guide the future direction of climate action planning and to receive funds to implement these plans. The SBCCOG and South Bay cities’ past and current work on inventories and climate action planning demonstrates the South Bay’s commitment to this work and also will enable SBCCOG staff and the technical consultants to hit the ground running with this next phase of work.

For further information, contact Sabrina Bornstein, (310) 371-7222.