Sonoma County Community Climate Action Plan
In 2008 the Climate Protection Campaign released the Sonoma County Community Climate Action Plan, which outlines the package of solutions to meet Sonoma County’s bold greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target – 25% below 1990 levels by 2015. The plan was developed over several years with the participation of and support from government, business, and community groups. The Plan’s solutions focus on five key categories:
- Transportation and Land Use
- Energy Efficiency
- Renewable Energy
- Solid Waste
- Agriculture and Forests
Implementing these solutions is the driving force behind the program initiatives of the Climate Protection Campaign. This Plan is, in essence, a public works project to meet Sonoma County’s bold goal for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions — 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2015.
Click here to see the plan.
This Plan was the product of considerable input from a team of consultants, experts, community representatives, and a skilled Steering Committee. Click here to read about who was involved.
Climate Protection Campaign also helped write the Napa County Climate Action Plan.
The two fundamental means for reducing emissions from electricity and natural gas are decreasing consumption through efficiency and switching from fossil to renewable sources. The Sonoma County Community Climate Action Plan goals for the electricity and natural gas sector are to upgrade the efficiency of at least 80 percent of residential and commercial buildings to the highest feasible level and thereby reduce demand for energy in existing buildings.
In 2009, The Climate Center Campaign initiated a countywide program for reducing energy and water use and then worked with county agencies to develop the initiative. In spring 2011, our one-stop-shop approach went statewide with the launch of Energy Upgrade California™, which provides consumer education, qualified contractors, rebates and financing. Participating Sonoma County homeowners reduced their energy use by 38 percent on average.
We are also worked with the Town of Windsor to pioneer a financing program for measures that reduce water and energy use. In 2014, the Town of Windsor was awarded the Green California Leadership Award for that collaborative project, Windsor Efficiency PAYS®. See press release.
In 2009, when Sonoma County was considering selling its landfill to an Arizona-based corporation, The Climate Center successfully helped block the sale because the proposed agreement did not encourage recycling and composting. Since the deal was stopped, we’ve worked intensely with business, government, and community leaders to create and implement new goals and solutions for the County’s solid waste system. Specific programs we’ve promoted to keep organic material from being landfilled include more advanced facilities for sorting garbage and requiring construction and demolition debris to be sent to reuse and recycling facilities. We also produced research on the feasibility of using anaerobic digestion to create electricity from waste organic material.
About 25 to 30 percent of global annual greenhouse gas emissions are due to deforestation. In Sonoma County, the agriculture and forest sectors represent about 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. They are also important to our carbon management. Our 2-part goal is to increase the ability of our forests and soils to trap greenhouse gas emissions in soil and trees and keep it there as long as possible. The Center partnered with Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (The District) to provide viable, economical, effective climate change solutions in the agriculture and forestry sector. The District can help climate protection in two major areas: (i) Avoiding development of natural areas; (ii) Good stewardship practices on preserved land.