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Santa Barbara County asks for public feedback on draft 2030 Climate Action Plan

County of Santa Barbara 2030 Climate Action Plan.
County of Santa Barbara 2030 Climate Action Plan.

Santa Barbara County wants public feedback on its draft 2030 Climate Action Plan.

The plan is designed to help the county reduce its carbon emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030. It covers a range of initiatives to make Santa Barbara County’s transportation, buildings and water infrastructure more energy efficient.

“Some of the main areas where we're looking at- kind of the big shifts that we're thinking about- are shifting our building energy use away from fossil fuel natural gas and into renewable base carbon-free electricity,” SB County Climate Program Manager Garett Wong said.

According to the last climate draft plan report, the use of natural gas and electricity in buildings made up over a quarter (27 percent) of the county’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018.

That’s why the climate action plan outlines several ways for residents to transition away from natural gas to clean energy. The plan discusses decisions that individual residents will have to make to reduce emissions from their homes and businesses.

Wong said this is why input from the community is so important right now.

Deconstruction of PRC 421-1 and 421-2 at Haskell's Beach.
Photo by Amanda Wernik
Deconstruction of oil piers at Haskell's Beach in Goleta. Santa Barbara County officials described the piers' removal as a step away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

“A lot of it is individual transactions and behavior change and technology adoption,” Wong said. “Those are all decision points that are made at the dinner table.”

The current phase of public outreach will last around three months. Then, the county plans to write a final draft to be submitted for final adoption.

Wong said even after the climate plan is officially adopted, it will be an ongoing collaboration between the county and the community.

“It's really the beginning, and so we really hope that people will continue to stay engaged and will continue to participate in the programs and the policies as we’re developing and implementing them,” Wong said.

Wong said the county has been actively seeking public input to make sure the plan reflects the community’s needs. Last week, the county hosted two in-person workshops for the community to review the plan and to engage with staff.

There is also a virtual workshop planned on Tuesday from 12 to 1 pm, which you can register for at countyofsb.org/oneclimate.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.
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