The letter (below) dated December 18, 2017, was sent to Irvine’s City Manager, Sean Joyce, by ICNV’s contributing science writers, Carl Mariz and Ed Sharman. They are calling for Irvine to adopt a Climate Action Plan. The Mariz-Sharman letter reflects the strong sentiments of many of ICNV’s readers who have written to us in recent months. We’ll report on the City’s response when we receive it.
December 18, 2017
Sean Joyce, City Manager
1 Civic Center Plaza
Irvine, California 92606-5207
Dear Mr. Joyce:
As longtime residents of Irvine and supporters of the State of California’s bold targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction over the coming decade, we have an important question for the City of Irvine.
California, with passage of SB 32 last year, has set a statewide target of 40 percent GHG reduction, from 1990 levels, by the year 2030. Our question is: What does the City understand to be its obligations under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to comply with this goal?
The City of San Diego adopted a legally binding Climate Action Plan (CAP) in December 2015 identifying what strategies it will employ to reduce greenhouse gases 51 percent by 2035. Those strategies include: obtaining 100 percent of the City’s electricity from renewable sources; expanding public transportation, thereby reducing vehicle miles driven; increasing tree cover; and improving waste management to reduce methane emissions. Local governments have recently lost two court cases for failing to set GHG reduction targets that are quantifiable and enforceable, and failing to include timetables [Sierra Club v. County of San Diego (2014) and California Riverwatch v. County of Sonoma (2017)].
From our perspective, as well as that of many fellow citizens of Irvine, the appropriate time for Irvine to develop a specific CAP is now, during the City’s ongoing General Plan Update (GPU). In so doing, the City can make a meaningful, long-term commitment to improved quality of life and sustainability for residents, as well as protect itself from potential costly liability resulting from non-compliance with State environmental goals.
Please explain what the City of Irvine plans to do to comply with California’s GHG mandate. When will someone – anyone – on the City Council place this issue on the agenda for discussion and public comment?
Cc: City Council
- We have solar panels on our house, and have two hybrid electric cars. There is no question that there is climate change. Irvine should be on the forefront of doing whatever possible to protect our planet.
— Mary Lou Sortais
- It would be fantastic if Irvine led on the issue of renewable energy. There are organizations that will stand behind you and help you on this issue. I lived in Irvine for 19 years and it was a leader in making the living spaces (air and water) better for its residents.
— Debbie Salahi
- The Mayor and City Council of Irvine should be supporting solar panels on all new construction and existing residential homes as an alternative to electric or gas.
— David M. Day
- The City of Irvine should lead, not flounder, under corporate manipulation.
— Marleen Gillespie
- So many reasons to develop a Climate Action Plan and not a single reason not to. If we are not part of the solution, then WE are the problem!
— Patricia Ewers
- Our roof-top panels have generated more electricity than we ourselves used for years. We’re currently adding as many more panels as the roof will bear to allow for expanded future use of electricity for appliances (dryer currently uses gas) and possibly auto.
— Annette Bork
- “Renewable Energy” is a farce foisted upon the public. Did you not read the LA Times article stating that California is forced to pay other states to absorb the excess power from our grid during solar and wind surge periods? Nuclear power is $0.02/KwH and constant, 24/7/365. Solar is $0.05/KwH and has only 22% availability. Wind 43%. Nuclear 100%. Solar (Furnace) and wind kill birds and bats.
— Philippe Tusler
- Irvine is an affluent and well educated community. We should recognize and support a Climate Action Plan supporting 100% renewable energy, as it’s the right thing to do for the future of a livable planet.
— Keith Linker
- Cities and states are supporting the Paris Accord even though the United States has pulled out of it. I hope Irvine can be a climate change leader like San Diego and many other cities.
— Philip Westin
- Irvine Apartment Communities (IAC) has no renewable energy programs. IAC residents pay on average $80+ per month for electricity on a 600 square foot apartment.
— Tim Brett
- Climate change is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s a life threatening issue that concerns all humans. We only have one home, Earth, and we need to take care of our home now!! In the past Irvine has always been a leader, first in recycling, first in banning CFCs. Where is the leadership now? Our planet is begging for help. Where are you Mayor and Councilmembers?
— Gail Lewis
- Being a forward looking City and the tech center of Orange County, Irvine should be the shining star in committing to renewable energy to reduce pollution and fossil fuel dependency. With the size and impact of Irvine, what it does will make a difference and an example for other major cities in the U.S.
— Ken Hung
- Before this current right-wing City Council took over, the City of Irvine had always been on the cutting edge of technology and planning. We should definitely follow the lead of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan.
— Payam Larijani