2012 White Paper, Regional Climate Action Plans: A New Approach to Facilitating Local Government Greenhouse Gas Reductions

A new paper reviewing Climate Action Plan projects sponsored by the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, Kern Council of Governments and Coachella Valley Association of Governments can be read here.

 

Abstract: Due to a confluence of political climate and favorable funding sources, local governments throughout California are on the forefront of planning efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While multiple cities and counties across the nation have developed climate action plans (CAPs) to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, these efforts have largely been completed by individual local governments. Regional organizations such as metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are now stepping in to develop initiatives, tools and templates to ensure that all their member cities develop strategic plans for energy and GHG emissions reductions.

This paper focuses on case studies of regional CAP projects sponsored by the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, Kern Council of Governments and Coachella Valley Association of Governments. Regional CAP projects are found to offer many benefits, including economies of scale, energy resource savings and consistency in regional planning efforts. Regional CAPs are an opportunity to leverage existing programs and resources already available at the regional level. These programs include utility-funded partnership programs for energy efficiency and conservation and transportation planning initiatives.

This paper examines the similarities and differences in project scopes and effective strategies for engaging with diverse communities. As the drivers for climate action planning continues to evolve, regional and sub-regional approaches will remain important resources for local governments.

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