The City of Martinez, California has joined the ranks of a growing number of communities the United States that have produced local climate action plans. The City of Martinez Climate Action Plan, adopted in June of 2009, outlines the city’s strategy for reducing local greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
Martinez, once the home of Sierra Club founder John Muir, is a member of the International Coalition for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). In advance of the planning process, ICLEI helped the city produce a community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory for the year 2005. This inventory identified major sources of local greenhouse gas emissions that were then targeted by the plan.
Martinez’s climate action plan outlines a number of strategies for reducing local greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, which accounted for 48.8 percent of Martinez’s total emissions in 2005. Here are a few highlights from the plan:
- Safe Route to Schools – Increase the number of students who walk to school to reduce private and public use of motor vehicles.
- Zoning and Code for Neighborhoods Serving Commercial Areas – Encourage the growth of small-scale commercial zones in neighborhoods, allowing residents to walk or bike to work or to shopping areas.
- Community-Based Carpool and Ride Share Program – Create ride sharing program to reduce the number of single occupant cars on the road, reducing traffic and emissions.
- Pursue Alternative Mass Transit Options – Explore expanding public transportation, such as by improving bus services, linking to BART through light rail or streetcar, or reconstituting ferry services.
- Find Funding to Replace City Vehicles with Low-Emissions Alternatives – Pursue grant opportunities to fund replacement of city fleet vehicles with hybrid, electric, or more fuel efficient models.
- Develop Alternative and Flexible-Fuel Power/Fuel Sources – Provide convenient access to refueling stations for alternative and flexible-fuel vehicles, including for plug-in electrics and bio-diesel or ethanol powered vehicles.
The consumption of electricity and natural gas accounted for more than 38 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. Here are a few of the steps for reducing energy related emissions recommended by the plan.
- Martinez Green Building Standards – Implement new building codes that incorporate LEED, Greenpoint, or other green building standards.
- Greening and Streamlining the Permit Process – Expedite permits for green building and renewable energy projects.
- Municipal Energy Efficiency Program – Installing energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, and office equipment in city facilities.
The complete plan is now available for viewing online.
Links to more information:
City of Martinez. City of Martinez Climate Action Plan. June, 2009.
White, Lisa P. Martinez Adopts Climate Action Plan. MercuryNews.com, June 23, 2009