Ramon DC Alatorre of the City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program will lead this meeting 7:00-8:00 PM on Thursday May 6. This City has ambitious goals, and it ain’t gonna be easy. Over the next few days and weeks the plan will be revised in light of additional study and community feedback. Attending this meeting is an excellent way to ask questions and give live feedback to City staff.
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You will get a LOT more from the meeting if you prepare by reading the draft Carbon Neutrality Draft Plan. You will learn that our emissions come from two sources that are cheap and easy to fix: burning fossil fuels for the electricity we use (about 32%), and gasses emitted in our landfill (about 10%). The other 60% will be much harder fix because the emissions come from vehicles (about 30%) and burning natural gas for space heating (about 25%), and the City can’t realistically force us to rip out our gas heaters nor can it ban gas vehicles. Probably the best we can do is require efficient electric heat pump systems on new buildings, encourage people to bike and walk, encourage housing to be built close to where people work, and hope that people gradually transition to electric vehicles as the auto industry shifts. No matter how you do the math, we will still emit GHGs, and getting to zero will require “sequestration” (pulling GHGs out of the air and storing them safely), which is much more expensive – and risky – than avoiding emissions. Expect to spend a half hour or more doing the math and thinking.
It’s called a Draft plan because your input can change the plan! Please read the draft plan, learn more on May 6, attend City Council meetings, fill out the feedback forms the city will put online, and otherwise engage in this important process.