Thursday, October 29, 2009
A new report analyzes how San Diego could reduce green house gasses to 1990 levels by 2020. Local planning agencies must come up with a strategy in the next two years to meet the state wide goal.
State and federal policy will have the biggest impact on reducing carbon emissions. But the report, from the Energy Policy Initiatives Center at USD, shows between 10 percent and 30 percent of the reductions must come from changes made at the local level.
Scott Anders of EPIC says more public transit is one of the most cost effective ways to meet the goals, but ironically the state has cut funding for public transport.
He says their study found that incentives to put more electric vehicles on the road would be another effective strategy. “For example, getting to 60 percent of all vehicles being electric, that would be more than we need for the entire transportation sector," he says. "But getting to 60 percent, that’s a huge number.”
Anders says this kind of shift will be necessary if San Diego and California are to meet the even more ambitious goal set for 2050.
The report also found insulating and retrofitting older buildings is a more cost effective way to reduce carbon emissions than putting solar panels on every new building.
“This means increasing insulation in your home,” he says. “Potentially replacing windows, and replacing your lighting with more efficient lighting. Between homes and businesses, there is an enormous potential of greenhouse gas reductions out there.”
Anders says retrofitting buildings built before 1980 is particularly effective.