California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, signed into law in September 2006, establishes a framework and timeline for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The California Air Resources Board is responsible for implementation of this landmark legislation, often referred to as AB 32. For more information on activities on the state level, see the state’s climate change portal. See Climate Change Information and Links on this site for general information on climate change.
A climate protection chapter is included in the 2010 Clean Air Plan that was adopted by the District Board in January 2011. The chapter is informational and not regulatory, and includes an overview of global climate change issues as well as an inventory of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the county. CO2 is the most prevalent greenhouse gas, and also the one for which the District has the most accurate data. This inventory will provide a starting point to track the county’s progress in reducing gases that cause global climate change. The District prepares emission inventories for criteria pollutants and air toxics on an annual basis in connection with preparing Clean Air Plans to show how the county will meet air quality standards.
Senate Bill 375 and Sustainable Communities Strategy
The District participated in the two-year preparation of the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) mandated by California Senate Bill 375. The bill required the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) to prepare the SCS as a component of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The SCS establishes the development pattern for future development for the County, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles and light trucks to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction targets adopted by the California Air Resources Board. The SCS and RTP were adopted by the SBCAG Board in November 2013.
The District incorporates climate change into outreach and education programs as detailed below.
- Countywide classroom presentations for K-12th grades and college classes feature lessons on our atmosphere, air pollution, global climate change, and what we can do to make a difference. For more information, see Resources for Teachers. The District provides grants for county teachers, awarded through the County Education Office, for projects to reduce energy use and vehicle traffic at schools.
- Presentations at community events and forums.
- District booths at school science nights, and community events include games with the Wheel of Change illustrating climate change concepts, and these concepts are also incorporated in District booths at community festivals like Earth Day.
- The District incorporates climate change concepts into its award-winning eco-tourism partnership Santa Barbara Car Free by encouraging visitors to reduce their CAR-bon footprints. See info on the Santa Barbara Car Free website.
The District has also updated its Environmental Review Guidelines to include guidance for evaluating the significance of the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from new or modified stationary sources; see Greenhouse Gases and CEQA for more information.
For more information, or to schedule a presentation, contact Mary Byrd at 805-961-8833.