City More Bad News from the City’s Climate Study
posted by October 29 at 18:18 PMon
As I wrote earlier today, Mayor Greg Nickels’s latest greenhouse-gas inventory contains some bad news about greenhouse gas emissions in Seattle: Most of the progress has been at City Light—where reducing emissions is relatively easy—instead of in the transportation sector, where emissions actually increased.
But the really bad news is this: According to the projections in the report, greenhouse-gas emissions from transportation sources are projected to spike between now and 2012, making it unlikely that—in the absence of real policy shifts to discourage driving and encourage alternatives—we’ll meet our (now-outdated and inadequate) Kyoto target of a seven percent reduction in the next five years. The report predicts that by 2012, we’ll be over our Kyoto goal by nearly 700,000 tons of carbon a year. Almost all of that increase will be caused by gasoline and diesel burned by cars and trucks; the increase is offset only slightly by reductions in the amount of oil burned for heat and further reductions at City Light.
Then again, Seattle residents shouldn’t be surprised by the bad climate news. Nickels’s own head of climate protection, Steve Nicklaus, told the council as much earlier this month, when he previewed the inventory before the budget committee. In response to questions from Richard Conlin, Nicklaus said:
[The inventory] will show that we have brought our community’s footprint to below 1990 levels by a decent percentage. But it will also show that when we project out to 2012, we will lose ground toward the target because of growth, particularly growth in motor vehicle emissions.
How that fits in with a press release titled “Study Shows Seattle on Target to Meet Climate Goals,” I have no idea.