Land Use Takes Back Seat In CA's Global Warming Plan

<p>Energy-efficient vehicles,buildings, appliances, low carbon fuels,and renewable energy took center stage in the Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan released June 26 by the CA Air Resources Board, a major step in meeting the landmark AB 32 climate goals</p>
June 29, 2008, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"The draft plan, which seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 30 percent by 2020, encourages local governments to create land-use and transportation plans that help them meet reduction targets."

"Environmental and planning groups, while cautiously supportive of the draft proposal, said they thought it should do more to force local government and builders to develop in a climate-friendly fashion.

The plan said improved land use and transportation planning could cut emissions by an additional 2 percent by 2020 and 4 percent by 2030, it said. An earlier report had put that reduction closer to 6 percent by 2020, said Stuart Cohen, executive director of the Transportation and Land Use Coalition in Oakland.

"We think this number got way too low," he said. "It's going to let everyone off the hook."

On the other hand, the California Building Industry Association plans to lobby to ensure that the final version of the law balances the environmental aims against the goal of providing adequate affordable housing in the state, spokesman John Frith said.

The association and other trade groups representing residential and commercial developers have long blamed the state's high housing costs on onerous government regulations.

"You can't meet the state's housing needs, 230,000 odd units a year to keep up with population growth, strictly with urban infill," he said. "You have to have a mix."

Thanks to ABAG-MTC Library

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Published on Friday, June 27, 2008 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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