How Tahoe Measures Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory measures the estimated GHG emissions generated by human-driven sources in the Lake Tahoe Region historically, as well as the projected GHG emissions generated in the future based on population and activity assumptions, and legislation and regulations currently in place. The estimated GHG emissions incorporate a defined set of gases that contribute to climate change. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most prevalent gas that is emitted in the largest quantities; however, there are five other primary GHGs that contribute to climate change: methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
Electricity consumption, natural gas consumption, and transportation activities contribute approximately 75 percent of GHG emissions in the Region. The Region’s Sustainability Action Plan calls for a 15% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020.
Vehicle Miles Traveled
Transportation emissions are the second largest source of GHG emissions in the Lake Tahoe Region according to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. On-road mobile sources make up approximately 80% of total transportation emissions in the Lake Tahoe Region, making reductions in Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) a primary focus of GHG emission reduction initiatives region-wide. In addition, strategies to reduce VMT have community benefits, such as walkable commercial areas that generate local economic benefits and pedestrian and bicycle trails that generate human health benefits.
This indicator measures the estimated average annual daily Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) on Tahoe highways managed by California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), as well as city streets and roads managed by local counties and the City of South Lake Tahoe.
The sum of distances traveled by all motor vehicles in a specified system of highways, streets and roads for a given period of time. Reduce vehicle miles of travel in the Basin by 10% of the 1981 base year values.
What is Tahoe Doing to Improve Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Natural Gas Consumption
According to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, natural gas consumption accounts for roughly 25% of the total GHG emissions in the Lake Tahoe Region, making it the third largest emission source behind electricity consumption and transportation. Natural gas is the primary fuel used by Tahoe Basin residents to heat their homes.
This indicator measures the total therms of natural gas consumption from residential, commercial and industrial buildings in the Tahoe Basin.
According to the A Regional Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the Lake Tahoe Basin (2012), natural gas consumption accounts for roughly 25% of the total GHG emissions in the Tahoe Basin, making it the third largest emission source only behind electricity consumption and transportation. Natural gas is the primary fuel used by Tahoe Basin residents to heat their homes.
Consumption data is tracked throughout the year with annual data compiled in February for the previous calendar year.
Learn More/Get Involved
Everyone has a role to play in protecting the Lake Tahoe Region. Want to learn how you can reduce your GHG emissions? Read about what residents, visitors, and businesses can do in the Region’s Sustainability Action Plan.