First published in the May 7 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
We all know that climate change is having significant and lasting impacts across the planet. In Burbank, the average maximum temperature is expected to rise between 5.1 and 10.3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Additionally, the annual number of extreme heat days (with temperatures greater than 99.6 F) is projected to increase from zero (in 2005) to approximately 38 days by the end of the century.
Burbank is rising to meet this existential threat with both bold and realistic solutions to significantly curb the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and beyond. On Tuesday evening, the Burbank City Council unanimously adopted an updated Greenhous Gas Reduction Plan. It includes many lofty goals and strategies to:
- Achieve 100% GHG-neutral electricity generation by 2040
- Electrify 100% of new building construction by 2023
- Increase zero-emission vehicle adoption to 100% of all passenger vehicles by 2045
- Reduce per capita water consumption to 124 gallons per capita per day by 2030
- Plant 2,000 net new trees by 2030
You can read the updated GGRP in its entirety on the city of Burbank’s website by visiting: burbankca.gov/web/community-development/climate-action-plan.
Admittedly, the updated GGRP is far from perfect. For example, we must achieve 100% renewable energy on a much faster timeline than that contemplated in the GGRP; 2040 is simply not soon enough.
However, I also believe that this updated GGRP includes many ambitious goals and strategies that will help us to ultimately achieve carbon neutrality and mitigate the effects of climate change. I was proud that it received the unanimous support of the entire Burbank City Council.
In many ways, this updated GGRP creates a “Green New Deal” for the residents of Burbank. None of this would have been possible without the tireless work of city staff and many community stakeholders, including Nikki Perez, Tom Pike, the Sunrise Movement Los Angeles and our Sustainable Burbank Commission members. Thank you to all of the advocates and community leaders who fought hard to get this far!
Our work is not yet complete, but I think we’re off to an excellent start.
Burbank City Council Member