By Brian CHERNICK
Speaking from the UN Climate Conference in Bonn, Germany, California Assemblymember and former Glendale City Councilmember Laura Friedman took to Facebook to discuss the happenings at the conference and take questions from constituents.
In her post, Friedman called on Glendale to continue leading the way toward more renewable energy sources and away from fossil fuels, calling out the Grayson Power Plant that runs off natural gas and is currently in the preliminary stages of a possible massive overhaul of its infrastructure.
“It’s very hard for me to find it in myself to support my city investing in a large natural gas plant given that is still a fossil fuel and we are trying to move to renewable energy,” Friedman said. “I want to allow the comment period, that is open right now, to close before we officially weigh in.”
While 47% of Glendale’s power is derived from renewable sources, just over a third of the city’s energy is still sourced from coal and other carbon-based resources.
Friedman said Glendale has an opportunity to set the standard for how cities invest in renewable energies, citing smart meters – a digital energy meter that wirelessly communicates with the power grid and informs residents of their power consumption – as one technology that could potentially reduce energy needs in Glendale.
The Conferences of the Parties (COP), which started meeting annually in 1995, has been gathering for 23 years to assess the progress being made to address climate change. This was the second meeting since the COP’s members ratified the Paris Agreement and the first meeting since United States President Donald Trump announced the country would be pulling out of the climate accord.
Friedman stated there was a good showing of dedication to the fight against climate change by individual states and non-government organizations (NGOs).
“There is a lot of presence from the United States from senators and governors and the NGOs have sent a very loud message,” Friedman said, “that even though the Trump Administration has pulled out, America is still in.”