The county of San Mateo is beginning the new year with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, so staff at the county has been crafting a “climate action plan" to decrease 2005 emission levels by 15 percent before the year 2020.
A consulting firm was hired by the county to see through the plan and it has been funded by the federal Department of Energy with a grant of $350,000. Government operations and the county's unincorporated areas in particular will be target for improvements in environmental efficiency.
Some of the options being considered to meet the goal include hefty rebates for energy-saving home improvements, renewable energy initiatives, utilization of the green building program, and enhanced transit corridors. Mercury news reports:
“The county also discovered its government operations generated 41,517 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. Building and facility operations produced the most emissions -- 46 percent of that total. Emissions from county employees' commutes made up 37 percent, and official county car use made up 12 percent.”
Solar panels have been used at the county to cut down some emissions, but staff acknowledged that meeting the 15-percent goal by 2020 would be a steep uphill climb.