Inventory tracks green house gas emissions in Humboldt County

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY- It started with a California policy change in 2006 with orders to track state emissions. Now as we begin to feel the effects of climate change here on the north coast, one organization has set out to track those emissions in Humboldt County.

“Green house gas emissions are gases that have an impact on climate change,” said Jerome Carman, energy specialist at the Redwood Coast Energy Authority. “Essentially what they do is they trap solar radiation and they can cause a green house gas effect its a its the same effect of why we put greenhouses in Humboldt County to create a warmer climate.

Carman, has spent nearly six years with a team working on an inventory of emissions from each jurisdiction in Humboldt County.

“We figure out how many miles people are driving, how much electricity people are consuming, how much propane,” Carman said. “It's essentially figuring out how much energy we're using. Green house gas emissions and energy are directly correlated. The more energy we use. Generally right now the more energy we use, the more we emit.”

And one of the biggest sources of green house gas emissions here on the coast? Transportation. According to the inventory, transportation makes up nearly 43 percent of total gas emissions in Humboldt County; a number that has the City of Arcata calling for change. City officials have already put into place a plan to help reduce the number of emissions in their jurisdiction. Carman says he hopes the inventory will encourage other jurisdictions to do the same.

“The biggest take away is the benefit to the community is both economic and health and environment,” Carman said. “Those three things, there really is a benefit to the community from looking at greenhouse gas emissions and trying to reduce them.”

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