The city of Davis was named the “Coolest California City” on June 27 by the California Air Resources Board for its success in reducing households’ carbon footprints. ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols said that Davis, runners-up Chula Vista and Tracy, and five other competing cities collectively reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 220 metric tons.
The eight cities were asked to motivate residents to take every day actions, such as biking instead of driving, that would reduce overall energy use and carbon emissions in order to earn points, which represented how much carbon emissions were reduced. Participants were also able to monitor their energy usage through the coolcalifornia.org website, developed by researchers at the ARB, the nonprofit Next 10, and UC Berkeley.
This challenge, launched and funded by the ARB to “inform future efforts to promote and quantify carbon footprint reductions and help establish best practices for citizen engagement,” allowed researchers to examine how best to engage city residents in reducing energy usage and carbon emissions.
According to an ARB spokesperson, “Davis successfully engaged hundreds of residents to track and reduce their energy use and miles driven — to collectively reduce the city’s carbon footprint. Davis has set a goal to engage 75 percent of its households in voluntary greenhouse gas reduction activities by 2015.” Over 439 households in Davis participated to reduce 59 metric tons of carbon emissions.
Daniel Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, comments: “The City of Davis earned this award through decades of leadership on energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. ITS-Davis plays an important role in providing the research to support city policies, through its cutting-edge research, but also through the contributions of many of our researchers, students and staff who participate as private individuals in many of the city’s programs Davis. Not only do we think globally, we act locally!”
An event on Sept. 5 will be held to honor the participants in the CoolCalifornia Challenge, and a second round will be announced as well.
For more information, visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/newsrelease.php?id=468