Board of Supervisors Take Action to Advance Climate Action Plan and Support Regional Decarbonization Framework
On August 31, 2022, the County’s Board of Supervisors (Board) directed staff to move forward with preparing two programs and three reports that will form the foundation for new initiatives, pilot programs, and incentives for the Board to consider in the Climate Action Plan (CAP) Update.
These five community-focused efforts will also support the Regional Decarbonization Framework (RDF) and demonstrate potential actions other jurisdictions can take to align with the RDF.
Details of the Actions
Equity-Driven Tree Planting Program
Staff will develop a program that builds upon and expands the existing County tree planting initiatives. The program will identify priority areas, with a focus on underserved areas, and develop steps to increase the overall tree canopy coverage in unincorporated communities. This will result in a reduction of urban heat island impacts and energy consumption in these communities. These efforts will also improve community health and well-being and align with the natural climate solutions sector of the RDF.
Pilot Carbon Farming Program
Staff will develop a pilot program to increase the use of carbon farming techniques within the agricultural community in the unincorporated area. The goal of the pilot program is to understand existing efforts, identify what incentives will be most beneficial to the agricultural community, and create a suite of tools to help with implementation of carbon farming plans and projects. Unlike many climate actions that are solely focused on reducing the amount of emissions being produced, carbon farming is unique in its ability to take carbon out of the atmosphere, which is necessary since we know we will continue to produce emissions for the foreseeable future. These efforts align with the natural climate solutions and food system and circular economy sectors of the RDF.
Energy Resiliency and Equity Report
Staff will develop a report that identifies community vulnerabilities due to heat impacts, power safety shutoffs, and utility costs. The result will be recommendations for new programs and/or incentives to strengthen critical infrastructure. Specifically, this report will focus on vulnerabilities in underserved communities such as those who are low-income or renters who have less control over their housing. These efforts align with the electrical grid sector of the RDF.
Existing Building Electrification Report
Staff will develop a report to study current fuel use patterns in our existing building stock, such as renewable and non-renewable, the use of propane, natural gas, and electrical energy options. The report will also look at the needs of existing residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, and evaluate the costs and benefits of options, such as rebates or incentives, to influence the conversion of gas-powered equipment and appliances to electric options. These efforts align with the buildings sector of the RDF.
Hydrogen Fueling Stations Report
Staff will develop a report to analyze current and future hydrogen fueling needs and identify potential locations for hydrogen fueling stations.
The report will support existing clean transportation initiatives including the County's Electric Vehicle Roadmap and Accelerate to Zero Emissions Regional Collaboration, which evaluated hydrogen demand at a regional level. These efforts align with the transportation network sector of the RDF.
Community engagement and stakeholder input are key to the success of the two programs and three reports approved by the Board. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please contact the Sustainability Planning team via email and sign up to receive project updates.