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Please note that this is a tentative schedule and items are subject to change.
Landfill methane emissions have gained significant attention with respect to climate change. While these are important, the emissions that occur during production and supply chain of materials upstream of consumption, said to be "embodied" in materials, are magnitudes greater. Whereas landfill emissions can account for less than 5% of total community emissions, embodied emissions in materials - if included in a greenhouse gas inventory - can account for 40% or more. During the first round of climate actions plans, landfill emissions were the only focus for materials management, which typically limited relevant interventions to organics reduction and diversion from landfill. If other zero waste strategies were included they were not "credited" with emissions reductions. Today's new generation of climate action plans are beginning to address embodied emissions more directly. The shift results in different climate action strategies and offers new policy options for local governments to reduce overall climate pollution through materials management strategies. This session will highlight examples of key differences and new opportunities. These include encouraging repair, reuse, and sharing eocnomies; embodied carbon policies for building construction; promoting reusables over single-use; and climate-friendly procurement policies. Staff from three local governments at the forefront of addressing embodied carbon will present their latest policies and plans. Attendees will get up to date on the emerging trends in the materials sector strategies in climate action plans. They will begin to be able to explain the increasingly significant role of materials in mitigating climate change, and how city materials management priorities may be changing.
Alice Zanmiller is a Planner with Marin County’s Community Development Agency's Sustainability Team. She works on sustainability programs and initiatives that support the implementation of the County’s Climate Action Plan, adopted in 2015. This includes policy and implementation support for the County's Green Building Program, Energy Watch Partnership, and Regional Codes and Standards group. She works on other CAP measures that reduce emissions from transportation, agriculture, and the built environment in the county. She received her degree in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and worked on CAPs prior to joining the County in 2016.
Concrete production is responsible for an estimated 6-10% of global climate emissions. Local governments have the authority to pass codes to reduce these emissions. In November 2019, the County of Marin passed a first-of-its-kind building code amendment that requires new construction in the unincorporated county to reduce the amount of embodied carbon in concrete used by the project. The code was developed through a Bay Area Air Quality Management District funded Climate Protection Grant and involved a year-long stakeholder process with representatives from across affected industries: concrete suppliers, developers, architects, local governments, academics, and nonprofits. The result was a code with compliance pathways that are simple and flexible, and targets a 10-30% reduction in emissions per cubic yard of concrete compared to national averages. County of Marin staff will describe the code and the process to develop and adopt it.
Shayna Hirshfield-Gold is Project Manager for Oakland’s 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan. She has been with the City’s Sustainability Group for six years, responsible for overseeing progress, developing policy, and implementing programs for Oakland’s climate strategy, as well as acting as a liaison with the city’s environmental and climate justice community organizations. Her key projects have included developing electric vehicle policies and infrastructure, building urban forestry capacity, and developing a more equitable approach to City-community engagement. A Bay Area native and Oakland resident, Shayna holds Masters Degrees in Public Policy and Social Work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
City of Oakland has for several years tracked lifecycle emissions of materials and resources consumed in Oakland. Global or lifecycle emissions include both those that occur locally (for example, tailpipe exhaust from auto trips), and the material extraction, manufacturing, shipping, and other activities that occur outside Oakland – often overseas – to satisfy local demand for materials and activities. From cars and clothes to condiments and concerts, everything consumed has a lifecycle carbon impact. In Oakland, as in most cities, lifecycle emissions are about three times the amount of local emissions, which means that about two-thirds of the emissions for which Oakland is responsible occur outside the city. This deeper look at global emissions associated with Oakland’s actions indicates that, while buildings and transportation have the highest emissions locally, the largest share of global emissions come from the climate impacts of every-day purchasing decisions. In light of this, Oakland's 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan contains not only actions to divert waste from landfills but also strategies to transform key aspects of the economy. The ECAP's Materials Consumption and Waste section aims to eliminate disposal of compostable organic materials to landfill, reduce waste generation upstream of disposal, and support a circular economy. Specific strategies address edible food diversion from the waste or compost streams, single use plastics, embodied carbon in buildings, repair and reuse economies, and City procurement policies. City staff will describe the reasons for including lifecycle emissions and how this influences the mix of strategies included in the ECAP.
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Carrade is the City of Albany's Sustainability Coordinator. Lizzie’s primary responsibilities are implementation of the City’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, management of the City’s waste and recycling program, and serving as the staff liaison to the Climate Action Committee. As a 2018-2019 CivicSpark Climate Fellow with the City of Albany, Lizzie led the community engagement efforts for the CAAP planning process. Lizzie grew up in Marin County, and graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a BA in Government.
The City of Albany’s new Climate Action and Adaptation Plan was adopted in December 2019. The CAAP looks at emissions directly tied to actions taken within the city limits as well upstream emissions and embodied emissions tied to the products consumed by the Albany community. Emissions from direct burning of fossil fuels make up a relatively minor fraction of a household’s overall impact, when compared to the emissions tied to consumption of goods and services, as well as embodied carbon. Albany’s traditional inventory of geographically-bound emissions is 1/6 of their consumption-based emissions in total tons of CO2e. While embodied emissions are not reflected in the City’s reduction targets or carbon neutrality goal, the CAAP includes strategies to address emissions from consumption with the understanding that their impact goes beyond Albany’s borders, and that meaningful climate action requires taking responsibility for these emissions. The City plans to lead by example by updating the municipal Sustainable Purchasing Policy to focus on purchasing items with a smaller carbon footprint, such as low-carbon concrete and post-consumer recycled materials. Ultimately, emissions from consumption must be reduced through consumer behavior change strategies that reduce waste and spur systemic changes toward a local, circular, low-carbon, re-use economy. The City can advance these outcomes through public education, economic development, and building codes. City staff will describe Albany’s perspective on its role within the integrated global economy, and its goal to facilitate a carbon-free economy.