Thursday, January 31, 2008

Climate Change Forum Announcement

Forum on climate change today
By Chris Bowman -
Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, January 31, 2008

Locally elected officials throughout the six-county Sacramento region plan to meet today for the first time about global climate change, focusing on its potential economic, political and air-quality effects on the area.

More than 30 city council members and county supervisors are expected to attend the public forum.

The gathering is fueled as much by politics as the environment, said Larry Greene, a lead organizer and executive officer of the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.

Local officials, he said, are increasingly concerned about encroachment on their land use authority as state and federal lawmakers call for tougher energy efficiency standards and other measures to reduce emissions of climate-altering or "greenhouse" gases.

"When the state or federal government develops targets, mandates and funding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we need a strong, unified voice to make sure local interests are recognized and not preempted," Greene said.

Regulators at the state Air Resources Board are expanding their reach for emission reductions from vehicles to communities as a whole.

State Attorney General Jerry Brown has threatened to sue counties that ignore global warming in long-term building and transportation plans.

Speakers scheduled for today's forum include Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo.

The conference runs from 4 to 9 p.m. in Alumni Center on the California State University, Sacramento, campus. Because of limited seating, those wishing to attend should contact organizer Erin Hauge at (916) 448-1198, ext. 323, or