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Climate Response

In order to ensure that Metro's bus and rail service operate consistently and reliably, ECSD is preparing the agency for severe weather events and potential future climate changes in the Los Angeles area. The climate program currently addresses three key avenues to reduce Metro’s environmental impact:

1. Mitigation: Taking actions to reduce the long-term impacts and stressors from climate change.

The most prevalent approach for climate change mitigation is greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. On behalf of Metro, ECSD inventories GHG emissions resulting from operations and is working to reduce these emissions.

  • GHG Accounting: ECSD calculates the annual GHG emissions created by Metro’s operations. This has helped us target strategies for further reducing emissions.
  • GHG Emissions Cost Effectiveness Study : Completed in 2010, this study explores the costs and impacts of strategies to reduce agency emissions.

2. Adaptation: Taking actions to manage the eventual (or unavoidable) impacts or stressors of climate change.

  • Climate Action & Adaptation Plan : Adopted in 2012, the CAAP provides Metro with mitigation and adaptation strategies for operating in a changing environment.
  • FTA Climate Adaptation Pilot : ECSD concluded its study as one of five public transportation agencies involved in a FTA Pilot Program to implement and operationalize climate adaptation at the agency.
  • Climate Vulnerability Assessment : This assessment evaluates the potential system-wide risks to specific climate stressors (extreme heat, wind, storm surge and wildfires) and provides a framework for the agency to assess potential climatic impacts to assets across its network.

3. Resiliency: The ability of a system to respond to threats and changing conditions by resisting damage, recovering quickly and continuing to provide its essential services.

While the term “resiliency” may be new to Metro, many major components of this work are already an essential part of the agency’s operations:

  1. Continually examining Metro’s system
  2. Setting priorities for maintenance
  3. Evaluating new purchases to supplement Metro’s bus and rail fleet
    • Resiliency Indicator Framework Report : The indicators are designed to provide a mechanism through which Metro can measure and prioritize the necessary actions to ensure that our assets and networks are resilient in the face of climate change and the evolving frequency of extreme weather events.

These are all elements that impact how well the agency can respond to changing conditions, and recover quickly to continue to provide its core services. Currently, Metro is exploring the use of metrics to evaluate its level of resiliency, as well as actions it can take to better prepare for future changes.

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