Climate Change: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
The Bay Area emits global warming pollution at three times the world average; and 40 percent of these emissions come from the transportation sector, mostly from cars, trucks, buses, trains and ferries.
Because the consequences of climate change are serious, the Bay Area’s four regional agencies — Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) — held a summit on Earth Day 2010 and launched the OneBayArea initiative. Each agency is undertaking various measures — many of which are required by state and federal law — to reduce GHG emissions and/or mitigate the effects of climate change. Here are some recent program highlights from MTC:
Plan Bay Area
The most ambitious effort is Plan Bay Area, which grew out of California’s 2008 Senate Bill 375 (Steinberg). The first requirement of SB 375 is to reduce California’s GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Each of the state’s 18 Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), such as MTC, must develop a long-range transportation and land-use/housing plan that will reduce its region’s per-capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars and light duty trucks.
The primary strategy is by building more compact communities with better access to mass transit and other amenities, so people have more transportation choices and do not have to drive as much. The second requirement is to house 100 percent of the region’s projected 25-year population growth, regardless of income level within the region.
If successful, Plan Bay Area not only will give people more transportation choices, it will create more livable communities and reduce the pollution that causes climate change. MTC’s main partners in developing Plan Bay Area are the Association of Bay Area Governments, all nine counties and 101 cities in the Bay Area, and, of course, the public.
Climate Initiatives Program
This $80 million program focuses on public outreach and education efforts aimed at helping individuals develop climate-friendly behaviors, reduce the Bay Area’s carbon footprint, and lay the groundwork for future climate change initiatives. The campaign also encompasses a suite of complementary grants, incentives and action-oriented programs. Each investment or tactic will be measured via pilot programs, as well as through public opinion surveys and emissions reductions estimates. This work also will help build a knowledge base to inform Plan Bay Area and the Sustainable Communities Strategy.
The Climate Initiatives Program consists of four primary elements: 1) Climate Initiatives Grants ($36 million), 2) Public Education and Outreach ($10 million), 3) Safe Routes to Schools ($17 million), and 4) Program Evaluation ($4 million).
Metropolitan Transportation Commission • 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California 94607
This page was last modified Thursday November 01, 2012
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