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News, City Council, Environment, Santa Monica

Santa Monica City Council To Discuss Investments, Environment On Tuesday

Posted Feb. 25, 2013, 9:10 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

The Santa Monica City Council returns to action on Tuesday with investments and the environment on its mind.

As part of its consent calendar, Council members will doubly wear their redevelopment successor agency hats and discuss the annual update on the City of Santa Monica’s Investment Policy.

Issues the joint panel is expected to consider include a review of the Investment Policy and approving divestments “of all City investments from fossil fuel companies as defined by 350.org guidelines.” Also, the joint panel will discuss whether to extend the delegation of investment authority to the Director of Finance, as City Treasurer, from March 1, 2013 through February 28, 2014.

There are also two resolutions to consider, the first of which would update “the list of persons authorized to conduct transactions with the State Local Agency Investment Fund on behalf of the City.”

The second resolution, which could modify investment guidelines for the Cemetery and Mausoleum Perpetual Care Funds, would only be deliberated by the city council; all the other matters would be voted upon by the elected panel in their capacities as council members and as governing board members of the Redevelopment Successor Agency.

Also on the agenda for next week’s meeting: the possible adoption of the 15x15 Climate Action Plan.

The agenda item also includes a proposal for council members to approve the establishment of additional community greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of “30 percent reduction of emissions below 1990 by the year 2030 and 80 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2050.”

City staff might also be directed “to analyze the feasibility and cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in municipal operations.”

“The 15x15 Climate Action Plan is a short-term, action-oriented document that identifies 15 measures that, if completed by the end of 2015, would achieve the City’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goal,” City staff stated. “The 15 measures and associated actions are grouped in the following eight categories: Energy Use and Generation, Waste Reduction and Recycling, Transportation and Mobility, Water Conservation and Efficiency, Open Space and Land Use, Local Food and Agriculture, Municipal Operations, and Climate Mitigation and Adaptation.”

According to City staff, a few policies and programs have either been developed or are currently in development to help reduce emissions, including the Bicycle Action Plan, Sustainable City Plan, and Urban Forest Master Plan, Water Self Sufficiency Plan, and Zero Waste Strategic Plan.

The City staff report to council members pointed out the 15X15 Climate Action Plan “was developed based on the results of Santa Monica’s 2007 sector-based greenhouse gas emissions inventory,” which includes electricity, natural gas, fuel oil (distillate and residual), propane, gasoline, diesel, and solid waste disposal.

Emissions and emissions reductions not included in Santa Monica’s inventory include Santa Monica Airport aviation fuel, byproducts of industrial processes, emissions from goods and food manufactured and produced elsewhere, sequestration by the existing urban forest, and offsets.

“The cities of Berkeley, Chicago, Seattle and Portland, as well as the State of California, have established the target to reduce emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050,” City staff reported. “Currently, Santa Monica does not have greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets beyond 2015. In order to maintain momentum and continuity of effort, staff recommends that Council adopt new community greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 30 percent reduction of emissions below 1990 by the year 2030 and 80 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2050.

“After the completion of the 15X15 Climate Action Plan, a new greenhouse gas emissions inventory will be performed and an updated Climate Action Plan will be developed in order to identify the measures and actions necessary to achieve the 2030 and 2050 targets,” City staff added.

Other issues to be discussed at next week’s council meeting: the establishment of a Transportation Impact Fee; temporary portable signs for properties located in the Main Street Commercial zoning district; and, three second readings.

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