Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Livermore
Where We Are Today
The City of Livermore tracks where greenhouse gas emissions come from locally. The pie chart below shows results from 2017 (the most recent year available). The largest emission sources include natural gas, on-road transportation, and electricity. Natural gas is what many homes and businesses use for cooking, heating, and cooling. On-road transportation includes cars, trucks, and any other vehicles you see on roads.
Off-road work vehicles include construction and agriculture equipment, trains, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and other mobile emissions sources that are not on-road cars. Direct access electricity is retail electric service where customers purchase directly from an Electric Service Provider, instead of from a regulated electric utility.
Where We Need to Go
Livermore met its 2012 Climate Action Plan Goal to decrease emissions 15% below 2008 levels by 2020. Emissions are expected to continue decreasing through 2045 due to State-level regulations. The City of Livermore will meet or exceed State goals to reduce emissions further: 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2045.
Four Major Areas to Reduce GHG Emissions in Livermore
Livermore’s cars, trucks, and other vehicles represent the largest source of emissions in Livermore (55%) and are estimated to remain the largest source in the future. There are two ways to decrease emissions from transportation: reducing the amount we drive, or reducing the emissions of our vehicles through electrification. Finding solutions that fit Livermore’s community will be key to reaching carbon neutrality.
Carbon sequestration can be thought of as negative emissions, or carbon that is taken out of the atmosphere and stored in trees and other plants. Increasing urban tree canopy has the added bonus of reducing heat and mitigating the expected impacts of climate change. There are also a number of technology-based carbon capture and storage solutions currently being developed by companies, which would take carbon emissions out of the atmosphere and store them deep underground.
Natural gas used in Livermore’s buildings accounts for 21% of total emissions as of 2017. By 2045 that share is expected to grow to 31% as emissions from electricity go to zero. By electrifying new and existing buildings, Livermore can significantly reduce its GHG emissions over time. Co-benefits for electrification of buildings include significant health benefits by eliminating fossil fuel combustion inside the home.
Once emissions from buildings and mobility are reduced or eliminated, waste will persist as a growing source of emissions within the City. By reducing our waste, diverting organics and improving recycling Livermore can make progress towards a zero waste future.