GHG Inventory and Sustainability Planning – City of Palm Desert, CA

In 2010, EcoMotion completed a greenhouse gas inventory for the City of Palm Desert, California and an accompanying Sustainability Action Plan. The planning process involved interviews and group meetings with nearly 100 stakeholders to discuss areas of City interest including land use, water, transportation, material management, air quality, the built environment, and energy. EcoMotion’s municipal action decision-making tool used five selection parameters to rank mitigation measures, and the first 20 measures were unanimously accepted by City Council to get the process started.

Most challenging was the fact that the City’s emissions had doubled since 1990. So had its population, and more development was planned.  EcoMotion worked with staff and Council there to recalibrate the Council’s prior goal of 7% below 1990 by 2020, and to extend the timeline from 2020 to 2030. Since the Plan was developed, Palm Desert spearheaded was is now PACE, and engaged with Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas in a program to reduce the City’s energy use by 30% across the board. With concentrated efforts, plus significant solar installations in Palm Desert, by 2013 the City’s footprint has already been trimmed by over 100,000 metric tons per year.