OAKLAND, Calif. -- A powerful and free online application released recently will enable hundreds of California cities and counties to measure their community's greenhouse gas emissions, taking an essential first step to addressing climate change and saving energy and taxpayer dollars. The SEEC Online Inventory Tool was released through the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, a new alliance to help California cities and counties reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy. SEEC is a collaboration between three statewide nonprofit organizations and California's four investor-owned utilities.
"This tool is a breakthrough resource that finally meets long-identified needs among California local governments," said Michael Schmitz, California Director of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA, the SEEC partner nonprofit that developed the tool. "Municipal staff are eager for climate action tools and trainings, but their budget situations often don't allow them to pursue these resources. That's why SEEC is so invaluable."
- Thanks to the free tool and other SEEC resources and trainings, California cities and counties can now continue to work toward their local climate action and energy goals, despite tight municipal budgets and funding cutbacks.
- SEEC's easy-to-use tool allows non-technical local government staff to conduct a detailed, robust community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventory, the essential first step in the process of setting GHG reduction goals, creating a climate action plan and implementing the plan. Identifying emissions sources is also a key step in creating energy-saving strategies.
- SEEC's partners, including the investor-owned utilities, recognize that the State of California cannot meet AB 32's statewide GHG reduction goals, to 1990 levels by 2020, unless local governments are empowered with climate action tools, training and guidance.
- The SEEC tool will also support California local governments in their efforts to address California Environmental Quality Act requirements when updating their general plans and incorporating climate impacts into their plans.
- There has never before been available a free tool of this caliber for California local governments. The tool is tailored to their needs, and is not applicable to local governments in other states.
To complement the SEEC tool, ICLEI has also developed a full suite of free resources to support California local governments. ICLEI has launched free "Quick-Start Guides" and instruction manuals on GHG inventories and climate action planning, and delivers regular in-person trainings to local government staff throughout the state on topics ranging from how to conduct a community-wide GHG inventory, to how to set GHG reduction targets and develop a climate action plan.