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Patrick Kerans inside Neighborhood 11 August 29, 2022, 4:49 PM
Input to the Climate Action Plan online “annotation” submissions by Patrick Kerans of the Central Coast Vegans (501c3).
Our annotations to the Climate Action Plan are based on the following rationale for recommending how the City of SLO can do more to reach our annual MTCO2e reduction target by helping our citizens understand the facts in relation to diet and climate change. I wasn't able to see how to add to the Pillar 6 section so I am adding both Pillar 1 and Pillar 6 annotations here. Thank you for your understanding on this. - Patrick
Climate/Environment Benefits: The City of SLO has an opportunity to further reduce the remaining 111,030 annual MTCO2e reduction target to reach its 2035 decarbonization goal by helping our community understand the facts associated with food choices and climate change.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock supply chains are at 14.5% of all human-induced emissions. Therefore, the livestock sector plays an important role in climate change, specifically via methane and nitrous oxide. These gases are both the most damaging to our atmosphere and the most beneficial to our atmosphere when mitigated.
According to the online app at Resilient SLO https://resilientslo.org/ going plant-based is the 2nd best action you can take after buying an EV. We’re not entirely clear on the math here but think it makes an important point: for every 2 community members going plant-based, we acquire the MTCO2e reduction equivalent of an EV replacing a gas-powered vehicle. Our organization is consistently asked to help folks “make the switch” to plant-based. We have at least 1000 followers and members.
Similar to sourcing our energy from renewable sources generated outside the county, diets that shift to plant-based foods reduce atmospheric methane and nitrous oxide levels from sources outside the county such as the Central Valley. Additionally, major water savings result by reducing both water used to grow food for animals and water used to grow the animals themselves.
While not addressed directly in SLO’s Climate Action Plan, successfully mitigating man-made atmospheric climate change necessitates preservation of global rainforests and biodiversity. It requires staving off runaway destruction of planetary forests, fresh waterways and ocean ecosystems occurring primarily as a result of production animal agriculture. Overall, the livestock sector is one of the leading drivers of global deforestation and is linked to 75% of historic deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969715303697 Nearly a third of biodiversity loss to date has been linked to animal agriculture. Further amplifying water and air pollution, global livestock produces seven to nine times more sewage than humans, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10021-011-9507-x most of which is left untreated. Global livestock also discharges pesticides, antibiotics, and heavy metals into water systems.
In summary, animal agriculture specifically:
• Accounts for 5 percent of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions; https://www.fao.org/3/i3437e/i3437e03.pdf
• Represents 44 percent of anthropogenic methane emissions, the primary driver of climate change related to livestock, as methane is 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide over 100 years; https://www.fao.org/3/i3437e/i3437e03.pdf
• Comprises 44 percent of all anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions, the most potent GHG; https://www.fao.org/3/i3437e/i3437e03.pdf and
• Makes up 75-80 percent of total agricultural emissions. https://www.fao.org/climatechange/36143-0fa4483057747f41c08183b702ec5954e.pdf
Furthermore, air and water pollution can be directly attributed to the livestock sector, which is the largest contributor to global water pollution.
Health & Resiliency Benefits: A large and growing number of healthcare professionals now agree: that plant-based diets play a key role in improving health and lowering healthcare costs. We all stand to benefit by eating plant-based foods.
Economic Benefits: California is home to the highest concentration of the 600+ companies worldwide dedicated to producing alt-proteins (1,000 if you include companies whose product line is not limited to alt-proteins). Half of these companies were founded since the start of 2015 according to a Good Food Institute (GFI) analysis of PitchBook, an industry data service. At least 55 plant-based and 11 cultured-meat alternative-protein companies are headquartered here in California.
Since the start of 2015, venture funds and others have invested $9.2 billion in alt-protein startups worldwide. Roughly $2.6 billion of that has been invested in plant-based meat companies, according to GFI’s analysis.
SLO will benefit tremendously economically by getting ahead of this trend as plant-based food and restaurant businesses continue to emerge locally. Our brand value as a tourism destination will increase as a result of nurturing a vibrant plant-based hospitality sector.
Suggestions that will go in the individual annotations for each “pillar” in the plan.
We, therefore, request that the SLO Climate Action Plan work program for 2023 – 2027 include the following:
1. Lead By Example:
A) Halt the global expansion of deforestation attributed to animal agriculture, specifically, divest all City investment dollars away from companies involved in factory farming or rainforest destruction.
B) Endorse the Plant Based Treaty, https://plantbasedtreaty.org/ a growing coalition of cities and regions globally that acknowledge the importance of increasing plant-based food consumption as a means of addressing climate change. (Note, a page for SLO will be up soon).
6. Natural Solutions:
Incentivize our plant-based food economy, specifically, dedicate City budget to support plant-based businesses via the following ideas:
A) Create cash awards for “best plant-based business ideas” as judged by a panel from the SLO Hothouse or similar organization able to objectively assess entrepreneur pitches;
B) Fund improvements to be made to an existing SLO Plant Based Food directory application created by the Central Coast Vegans; https://ccvegans.org/get-food/
C) Hire an economics or business professor to estimate the existing and future potential size of our plant-based economy in terms of jobs and economic impact. This could also be extended to include other businesses with a direct positive impact on climate change.
D) Fund public information campaigns that explain the benefits of plant-based diets in mitigating climate change via reducing methane and nitrous oxide atmospheric gases, slowing the destruction of rain forests that absorb CO2, slowing ocean acidification, and restoring biodiversity within our planetary forests, fresh waterway, and ocean ecosystems.
Name not shown inside Neighborhood 10 August 19, 2022, 3:51 PM
I would like the city to outlaw the use of diesel-powered and gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and other equipment used by commercial landscapers and by the city's/county's own employees. The smell, fumes, and noise from this equipment is polluting on three levels. What would be a reasonable time for compliance to be expected from all involved?
Name not shown inside Neighborhood 10 August 19, 2022, 3:46 PM
I planted two new street trees on my property that will grow in time to shield the direct rays of the sun on my west-facing home. I have several trees planted in my small backyard and in my front yard that are mostly fruit-bearing trees. I don't believe I can fit any more trees of any size onto my property but am very supportive of tree-planting in and around the city and county.
Name not shown inside Neighborhood 10 August 19, 2022, 3:42 PM
I am waiting for a community solar farm to be built somewhere in SLO county to work in coordination with the Community Consortium out of Monterey county. I signed up to receive a portion of my electrical energy from this source and it is charged to my PG&E bill. I would be willing to reduce energy consumption during peak hours and have signed up with PG&E for this program. My home was built approximately 7 years ago when SLO city approved all the homes to have gas appliances. I'm wondering why the city didn't have a 10-year plan to phase out gas appliances in newly built homes back in 2015? Now, at a great expense, I would have to convert all my appliances to electrical which I don't even think is possible without a major renovation. That's why I'm waiting for SLO county to build a solar farm without my having to add solar panels to my roof.
Name not shown inside Neighborhood 10 August 18, 2022, 7:29 PM
I don't think I would go solar in the sense that I would use the solar power. I think my needs at my house are pretty low, and I don't have air-conditioning or an electric heater, and there's an issue there. I could give 52 using the real estate of my roof deck for planting solar tube put back into the community. Two silly things prevent me from jumping right in. Why put holes in a perfectly good roof, and I don't like the way the solar panel industry seems to encumber property with leases and equipment. I suppose if I had an electric car, having solar to power a battery wall would be a good idea. And I think in my life I want to try to get away from automobiles all together. I consider myself reasonably mindful of electric use during peak hours. I can't I don't think modify my refrigerator's use of power during that time. for now I am fortunate that my life does not seem to be much benefited by having AC other than that gifted me by the wind from Los Osos.
Name not shown inside Neighborhood 10 August 18, 2022, 7:19 PM
I like the inclusion of more electric vehicles in the City fleet. And I see the inclusion of charging stations. I would like to see something like this (https://bike-energy.com/en/charging-stations/) added to the lineup of charging stations. I'm thinking all that an ebike rider would need is a cable, a fairly small item. Of course, secure parking would go wheel in dropout... (hand in hand ☺️)
Name not available outside Neighborhoods July 12, 2022, 1:51 PM
I am in support of the effort to increase bike, pedestrian, and transit infrastructure in Downtown. I implore the City to reduce/remove parking requirements entirely in Downtown and throughout the City. Minimum parking requirements hinder SLO's potential by filling our city with unproductive, empty parking spaces that don’t add value to our places. They push homes and businesses farther apart, impede the walkability of our neighborhoods, raise the cost of housing, and place an especially costly burden on our local entrepreneurs. In the absence of parking minimums, we’ll still have parking—but we’ll be free to decide how much it’s worth to us and weigh its value against the other things we could do with the same finite, precious land. We’ll no longer be forced to build more parking than we really need.
Name not available outside Neighborhoods July 12, 2022, 1:39 PM
SLO's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance is currently written and implemented ineffectively and works against the ultimate goal of providing for more affordable units in the City. The City Council should not adopt the ordinance until changes such as the following are incorporated:
- Reduce Inclusionary Fee to $5/sq ft. The proposed fee is astronomical and is working against the goal to provide for more affordable and market-rate units. Even in high-end places like NYC and LA, an inclusionary fee of 10% barely works.
- Exempt multifamily projects of 2-10 units. This will incentivize “Missing Middle Housing” by individual homeowners and small builders that is cheaper to construct, cheaper to rent, and easier on existing infrastructure. The proposed IHO as written would add fees to a project demolishing old single-family homes and then building four or more units of housing (now feasible under SB9 and SB10), punishing the exact kinds of projects we need
- Include Condo Conversions (from rental to ownership) in applicability for inclusionary fees. Ellis Act evictions and rental->ownership conversions are a big driver of displacement and homelessness in our community.
- Include State Density Bonus vs City Density Bonus in the Ordinance. Current IHO language is unclear in stating which bonus would apply.
- Exempt Deed-Restricted units from impact fee calculation.
Matthew Irons inside Neighborhood 6 June 6, 2022, 9:04 PM
Prior to this survey, did you know about the City's program supporting all-electric new buildings? No
As noted above, the City is updating its program to potentially require all-electric new buildings starting in 2023. Do you have any concerns about this update and do you have any recommendations for how to address these concerns? I have no major concerns as I feel this is a crucial proposal.
What opportunities do you see coming from this policy? Dramatic move away from reliance on carbon intensive energy sources.
What could the City do to ensure the program is successful?
Add public notices in visible places (parks, commercial areas)
Name not available inside Neighborhood 7 June 6, 2022, 2:14 PM
Prior to this survey, did you know about the City's program supporting all-electric new buildings? Yes
As noted above, the City is updating its program to potentially require all-electric new buildings starting in 2023. Do you have any concerns about this update and do you have any recommendations for how to address these concerns? With more electric buildings, we also need more energy grid security and rapid decarbonization of the grid. There needs to be as much attention on this as there is for building electrification. I don't know enough about housing, but I am concerned that this could potentially slow development of housing which we very much need in SLO. Additionally, I'm concerned that these homes would be more expensive and would only attract those who could pay more, further pushing vulnerable populations to live in older buildings that are less safe.
What opportunities do you see coming from this policy? I am supportive of decarbonizing our buildings, and it may provide further opportunities to focus on grid decarbonization and electrifying existing buildings. Healthier indoor air quality if not relying on natural gas for stoves.
What could the City do to ensure the program is successful?
Focus on affordability and protecting vulnerable populations first; prioritizing health with decarbonization