LAGUNA BEACH With the recent citywide ban on smoking, the elimination of single-use plastic bags and the addition of propane-powered trolleys, Laguna Beach is already an environmental leader in Orange County.
On Tuesday, Aug. 8 the City Council stepped up their efforts, voting unanimously to join more than 300 cities nationwide in signing a resolution to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement and the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda. The efforts follow President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement on June 1. Laguna is the third city in Orange County to sign the resolution, following Santa Ana and Laguna Woods.
The Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015 and signed by 158 of 197 countries worldwide, restricts global temperatures to a 2 degree Celsius increase that scientists say is the highest compatible to civilization. Under the accord, the United States had pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
With Tuesday’s resolution, Laguna Beach pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adopt new policies and programs to provide a sustainable local environment.
The city also has an Environmental Sustainability Committee that has drafted a plan set to be reviewed by the Planning Commission. The two-year plan includes mapping environmental resources, organizing a public display on rising sea levels at Main Beach, developing a lecture series and organizing a public reuse and recycle event.
“The thing about Laguna is that we’ve always been ahead of the curve with this type of thing,” said Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Boyd.
The council’s vote left more than 30 local environmentalists applauding.
At least 34 speakers pushed city leaders for specifics and to develop even more innovative…