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Climate Action Planning

Source: ICLEI’s Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation

Climate Action Planning
A Climate Action Plan (CAP) is a description of actions—policies, programs, and cost-effective projects—a city can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A CAP may include measures or actions a city has already completed as well as proposed measures a city plans to implement in the future to reduce its carbon footprint. By taking a proactive approach to climate action planning, cities can lower their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce their energy costs, protect air quality and public health, and improve the economy and environment.

Climate Action Planning in the South Bay
The SBCCOG/SBESC and member cities have been working on climate action planning in the South Bay since 2008. When embarking on this project, the SBCCOG/ SBESC recognized that while many of its member cities wanted to initiate climate action planning, they did not have the resources, budget, or staff to devote to such activities. With this in mind, the SBCCOG/SBESC suggested a sub-regional approach to the management and coordination of inventorying local government and communitywide emissions and climate action planning. As a result, the SBCCOG/SBESC is able to work with member cities in a collaborative fashion to maximize resources, save city and data providers time, and maintain a consistent approach to the method, process, and resulting product.

The South Bay cities began the process of assessing their greenhouse gas emissions by joining ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability, an international association of city and county governments committed to sustainable development. Through ICLEI, the South Bay cities gained access to tools and resources, such as the Clean Air Climate Protection (CACP) software, which enables cities to quantify their emissions.

The South Bay cities have committed to ICLEI’s Five Milestone Climate Protection Methodology, see diagram at top of the page, which includes:

  • Conducting a baseline emissions inventory and forecast
  • Adopting an emissions reduction target for the forecast year
  • Developing a local Climate Action Plan
  • Implementing the local Climate Action Plan
  • Monitoring and verifying results

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories
One of the first steps a city takes toward protecting the environment from global warming and promoting environmental stewardship is to identify and account for the sources of emissions in its own backyard including municipal and communitywide emissions. The SBCCOG/SBESC completed greenhouse gas emissions inventories, for both government operations and communitywide activities, for the years 2005 and 2007 for each city in the South Bay. To develop the inventories, the SBCCOG worked collaboratively with member cities assisting staff with the collection and aggregation of data and using ICLEI's Clean Air Climate Protection (CACP) software to quantify emissions.

CAP Resources
Local and Regional Governments in Climate Action Planning

Climate Action Planning Resources

Adaptation Climate Program