Hayward to consider revising emission reduction goals
In September 2018, former Governor Jerry Brown signed Executive Order #B-55-18, committing California to economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2045. To help achieve the State’s ambitious goal, the Hayward City Council Sustainability Committee has recommended increasing the urgency of Hayward’s own greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
Existing fossil fuel-reliant vehicles and infrastructure in communities across the globe make it difficult for any jurisdiction to bring carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions (collectively referred to as greenhouse gas emissions) down to true zero. As such, carbon neutrality is a net elimination of emissions – not an absolute one. To achieve carbon neutrality, Hayward will have to displace more emissions than it generates – which will require revising land management practices and investing in carbon capture technology as it becomes available, among other strategies.
On December 12, the Hayward Planning Commission will consider the revised goals, which will require an amendment to the City’s 2040 General Plan. If recommended by the Planning Commission, the goals will be brought before the City Council at their December 17* meeting. The new goals were recommended by the City Council Sustainability Committee at their October 30 meeting, and are listed below:
Current Goals, Adopted 2014
New Goals Under Consideration
20% below 2005 levels by 2020
30% below 2005 levels by 2025
62.7% below 2005 levels by 2040
50% below 2005 levels by 2030*
82.5% below 2005 levels by 2050
100% below 2005 levels by 2045
Members of the public interested in attending the upcoming meetings can find more information regarding the Planning Commission meeting here and the Council meeting here. Community input on these proposed emission reduction goals is encouraged and can be sent directly to Hayward’s Sustainability Specialist, Nicole Grucky, at email@example.com.
*UPDATE 7/28/2020: This item was postoponed from the December 17, 2019 Hayward City Council Agenda to the June 16, 2020 City Council Agenda, and was officially adopted at the June 23, 2020 City Council Meeting. The second new goal, at the time of adoption, was revised to 55% below 2005 levels by 2030. For additional details regarding the revised goals which were adopted on June 23, 2020, read this article from the July 2020 issue of The Leaflet.