Environment

Santa Barbara first city to make 100% renewable energy pledge on Central Coast

A solar panel installation at a home in Santa Barbara.
A solar panel installation at a home in Santa Barbara. NYT

The city of Santa Barbara has vowed to transition entirely to clean and renewable energy.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted to establish a goal of 100 percent sustainable energy by 2030. The resolution sets both communitywide and municipal facilities objectives to reduce fossil fuel use through increased conservation and efficiency, and by developing renewable energy sources.

The motion also committed to a 50 percent renewable energy goal by 2020 and 100 percent renewable energy goal for the city’s community electricity supply by 2030, but no specific plan is yet in place.

Santa Barbara is the first city on the Central Coast to make the pledge, and the resolution comes less than a week after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a global agreement aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“President Trump may be withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, but cities are stepping up and re-committing to adopt, honor and uphold the Paris Climate (Accord) goals,” Mayor Helene Schneider said.

“I’m proud that Santa Barbara has adopted a 100 percent renewable energy goal and is joining other cities across the nation leading the way on clean energy at the local level.”

Santa Barbara is joining 29 cities nationwide that have devoted to achieving 100 percent renewable energy targets. San Diego, San Francisco, South Lake Tahoe, Del Mar and Palo Alto are some California cities that have made the commitment.

The specific steps the city would take to achieve a 100 percent renewable goal are unknown, according to a staff report.

City staff members are expected to develop a work plan, including financial resources and setting a timeline to achieve the goals by Dec. 31, 2018.

Despite problems with its ‘cap and trade’ carbon market, California has made progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here are the six main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at bholland@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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