Sonoma County Community Climate Action Plan

Introduction from the Steering Committee

Dear Reader:

This Plan is a call for change.

People hear this call differently. Some feel they can postpone action, while others are firmly convinced we must act today — if not yesterday.

To all readers of this Plan we offer a view of change that helps us begin the task ahead, be it the person who feels immobilized by the scale of the effort, or the one who is ready to storm the Capitol demanding draconian remediation.

The process of change is often unpredictable. Sometimes it moves incredibly swiftly. Other times it seems to stall completely, only to surprise us with its reappearance like new leaves on a plant we thought was dead.

History is filled with mighty examples of positive change. But what causes it? Where was the first crack in the Berlin wall? What put an end to apartheid in South Africa? When was the first step taken toward the moon? Did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 become inevitable when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus?

Every historic change is preceded by a massive collection of individual actions. Because we cannot foresee how change will occur, each action is critical. The main thing is to act.

This Plan offers a set of solutions to meet the challenge in Sonoma County to protect our climate. Readers may not agree with all the solutions presented in the following pages. That is okay. Plans adjust and evolve as they are put into action.

But it is not okay to continue life as usual. Non-action will create severe implications for our future.

Thank you in advance for reading this Plan. We hope you find it inspiring, challenging, and, ultimately, a compelling roadmap of the needed change ahead. For change is what it is about.

Steering Committee of the Sonoma County Community Climate Action Plan:
Jane Bender, Santa Rosa City Councilmember
Jim Leddy, President of the Board, Santa Rosa City Schools
Tanya Narath, Executive Director, Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy
Chris Thomas, Deputy County Administrator, County of Sonoma (ex-officio)


The Community Climate Action Plan is the third step in a five-step program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout all of Sonoma County. The program is being followed by all nine Sonoma cities, the County and the Water Agency.

The steps are:

  1. Produce an inventory of Sonoma County’s greenhouse gas emissions. This was completed by the Climate Protection Campaign in 2005.
  2. Set a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. In 2005, Sonoma Countyand the nine cities within it adopted the country’s boldest target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: 25% below 1990 levels by 2015.
  3. Develop the Community Climate Action Plan, the blueprint to help Sonoma County achieve this emissions target. The Climate Protection Campaign completed this Plan in November 2008.
  4. Implementation of actions in the Community Climate Action Plan. This is our challenge!
  5. On-going monitoring process to ensure we meet our reduction target. The Climate Protection Campaign conducts annual inventories (2006, 2007) of the County’s greenhouse gas emissions.