More than 20 agencies from the Monterey Bay came together at the third annual Climate Summit to celebrate how they have helped reduce Monterey County's carbon foot print and discuss how they can keep the efforts going.
'"Look at places where we have successful projects that maybe could be replicated and expanded, and scaled so that we can have a bigger and better impact,” said Monterey Bay Regional Climate Action Compact co-chair Brennen Jensen. “Then identify some of the future initiatives that might be possible."
Over the last decade the Monterey Bay Regional Climate Action Compact said it has collaborated to create more awareness and implement programs, strategies and policies to reduce emissions, as well as create jobs and economic growth through sustainability.
'"We've also made tangible progress in terms of installing solar panels and electric vehicle chargers that really help contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in our region," said Lacey Raak, CSUMB Sustainability Director.
Compact members said one of their most notable initiatives is the Monterey Bay Community Power Program, which will allow people to get energy from renewable sources like solar and wind.
"It will literally help us address 50% of our greenhouse emissions that come from our energy sector,” said Gine Johhson with the Monterey Bay Community Power. “It is the one thing that we can do here as local governments that will really make a change in the next couple of years."
While a lot has been achieved, the Compact said there's still more to be done as the earth's temperature heats up.
"We'll have more droughts, we'll have more extreme weather conditions,” said Johnson. “Our major economic systems including agriculture are really going to be suffering."
The group is hoping to carve out climate action goals for the next decade. Carbon farming and creating eco-friendly communities are just a few initiative.
"Watershed management, better soils management,” said California Assemblymember Mark Stone. "Looking to sequester carbon in grasslands and our estuary systems across the state."
Some of local cities are in the process of passing resolutions to implement the Monterey Bay Community Power Program.