As California works towards reaching net zero greenhouse gas emission levels by 2045, the city of Richmond is one step closer to eliminating the use of fossil fuels.
The Richmond City Council has approved a ban on natural gas hookups in new building developments in an effort to cut down on pollution.
The city already initiated an ordinance in 2020 for new developments to be electric, with an exception for gas cooking appliances and fireplaces in homes and restaurants. Now, all gas appliances are prohibited for building projects.
City Councilmember Eduardo Martinez sponsored the ordinance, backed by a series of environmental groups, and his fellow councilmembers voted in his favor unanimously.
“This is a huge step forward in the effort to protect Richmond residents and workers from dangerous sources of fossil fuels in our homes and businesses,” Martinez said in a statement. “I am proud to lead this effort and feel inspired by the broad coalition of community members that has stepped up to support this action.
Natural gas is traditionally used as fuel for cooking, hot water and heating in homes and businesses, but it also makes up 72 percent of Richmond’s citywide energy-related emissions, and 40 percent of emissions in homes, according to data from a 2012 greenhouse gas inventory.