Long Beach earns climate action leader status

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climate-action-leader-logo-smallThe City of Long Beach has successfully registered its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory with the California Climate Action Registry, earning the distinction of Climate Action Leader. Long Beach is now publicly and voluntarily reporting its 2007 GHG emissions under the California Registry’s rigorous program.

“Long Beach’s achievement as a Climate Action Leader recognizes the City’s environmental successes as we continue to implement effective and innovative green projects,” said Mayor Bob Foster.

The inventory includes carbon dioxide emissions for City owned and operated sites, facilities and operations. In calendar year 2007, the City’s operations emitted 51,754 tons of carbon dioxide, which is equal to the annual emissions of 9,410 cars. Long Beach emissions come from energy use associated with electricity, natural gas and vehicle fuel citywide, including all City facilities and vehicles.

Knowing this, Long Beach has undertaken the following initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

Energy efficiency: In 2003, Long Beach adopted a Green Building Policy for municipal buildings. LEED buildings recently completed under this policy include the Mark Twain Library and the Port of Long Beach Command and Control Center. The City is also continuing to improve building efficiency through the use of Stimulus funds.

Renewable energy: The Long Beach Airport installed 6 new solar “trees” that track the movement of the sun to produce electricity. This system is expected to create 15,000 kilowatt hours annually and offset nearly 500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over its 25-year lifespan. The Redevelopment Agency also installed solar-powered pay stations in downtown parking areas.

Alternative fuel: The City was recently named the No. 1 Government Green Fleet by the US Department of Energy for its impressive line up of alternative fuel vehicles, including CNG, LNG, hybrids, and electric vehicles. The City is also testing biodiesel through a pilot program with its beach maintenance vehicles and continues to replace older vehicles with more fuel efficient ones.

With increasing emphasis on reducing GHG emissions, completing an inventory:

  • Signifies Long Beach’s commitment to open and transparent environmental reporting
  • Promotes awareness of the impact our day-to-day lives have on the environment
  • Reinforces Long Beach’s leadership role in sustainability
  • Enables the City to better meet future environmental regulations
  • Positions the City to secure grant funding for sustainability programs

The inventory covers all City operations including Long Beach Gas & Oil, the Long Beach Water Department and the Harbor Department. Included in this inventory are City facilities like City Hall and fire stations, operations like traffic signals, and vehicles like street sweepers and police cruisers.

The majority of the City’s emissions came from electricity, at 30,936 metric tons.

Vehicles and equipment emitted 17,005 metric tons and natural gas usage accounted for 3,813 metric tons.

The California Registry, created by the State of California in 2001, is a program of the Climate Action Reserve that supports companies and organizations in calculating, publicly reporting and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. The results are verified by independent third parties to ensure compliance with California Registry protocols and standardization across participants and sectors. Organizations that are willing to meet the accounting standards and third party verification requirements of the California Registry show their serious intent to address climate change. The California Registry has been widely recognized as a gold standard for public reporting of greenhouse gases.

“We are thrilled that the City of Long Beach has earned the status of Climate Action Leader. We believe that Long Beach’s example helps set a positive tone and a meaningful standard of energy efficiency for municipalities across the nation,” said Gary Gero, President, California Climate Action Registry.

The City of Long Beach’s certified 2007 GHG emissions report is available through the California Registry’s website www.climateregistry.org/CARROT/public/reports.aspx or www.longbeach.gov/citymanager/sustainability.

The California Climate Action Registry serves as a voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) registry for entity-wide emissions inventories. It is a program of the Climate Action Reserve, a private nonprofit organization committed to solving climate change through emissions reporting and reduction. The California Registry’s protocols were created through a rigorous, transparent process and are widely regarded as among the highest quality standards in emissions accounting. The accuracy, transparency and integrity of these standards have earned it the reputation as a respected and internationally recognized leader in climate change issues.

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