28 September 2008

Baseline Stats

A new report quantifies San Diego's carbon emissions:
Passenger vehicles account for almost half of the carbon dioxide San Diegans create. Their driving habits emit carbon dioxide at a rate nearly 50 percent higher than the rest of the state.

[snip]

Flights out of Lindbergh Field created 5 percent of the region's carbon dioxide. Electricity generation produced a quarter; burning natural gas in home heating and stoves produced 9 percent. While per-capita emissions have been steady since 1990, the population has grown and driven emissions up. (San Diegans on average emit half the carbon dioxide that their counterparts do across the nation, the researchers found.)

Local climate and energy experts said the inventory's established baselines for emissions will be vital for measuring progress as California launches carbon-reduction efforts called for by Assembly Bill 32, the landmark state legislation that mandates a return to 1990 atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels by 2020.
Note that SD's "one-half of the national average" statistic is probably due to the good weather down there (less A/C and heating). There's a high correlation between paradise and sustainability :)

Bottom Line: You can't reduce what's not measured, but now SD knows what it has to reduce: driving.

hattip to DW

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another reason that San Diego has lower GHG levels today is because it got a head start on energy efficiency. Back in 1981, SDG&E convinced the CPUC to allow it to begin weatherizing low income homes across its service area. That was the first time any regulatory agency authorized an energy utility to spend ratepayer dollars installing energy conservation measures in customers homes. I know because I was the planner who designed and implemented that program for SDG&E..