What is this indicator?

The majority of greenhouse gas emissions come from carbon dioxide, which enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels, solid waste, trees, and other sources. It is measured here in terms of municipal emissions per ton of carbon dioxide.

Why is it important?

The scientific community and, increasingly the general public, accept climate change as a genuine scientific phenomenon which human activity has accelerated. The city has included a measure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) among its indicators because it recognizes that the physical and socio-economic disruptions which climate change will cause if unabated will be unsustainable for the community and the region.

How are we doing?

Municipal energy and fuel usage from Big Blue Bus has increased as City services and facilities have grown to accommodate new needs in the community. While the City has pursued energy efficiency, it has also recently added or expanded new energy-intensive facilities like the Arcadia Water Treatment Plan, Pico Branch Library, Parking Structure 6 and Tongva Park. This expansion services and facilities will challenge the City's ability to reduce its own energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, however, the net gain from the community benefits or other sustainability initiatives, like water self-sufficiency, will be much larger.
Big Blue Bus comprises a majority of the City's emissions profile. However, as of 2015, the fleet now runs completely on 100% renewable natural gas sourced from landfills. This reduction will be reflected as the City's 2015 greenhouse gas emissions inventory is prepared.
In 2019, Santa Monica launched the first fully electric Big Blue Bus in the city. While this shift was not captured in the 2018 Greenhouse Gas inventory, the City will continue to see an increase in carbon emissions as we update Big Blue Bus fleet. 

How can we help?

  • Lower your greenhouse gas emissions by:
  • Taking transit, biking, or walking instead of driving when possible
  • Investing in an electric vehicle
  • Installing solar at home
  • Improving energy efficiency. Learn about energy savings and rebate programs here