In Napa County, lots of conversations are taking place around climate action. But what does climate action mean? To answer that question, we need to look back to 2006, when then-Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 32
into law — the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. This law required a statewide reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Soon after, the development of a Scoping Plan
by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) took inventory of the current state of GHGs in California to help us measure our progress and define priorities. Each jurisdiction continues to work on its own climate or sustainability plans.
AB 32 also set in motion a host of related actions that specifically supported the GHG reduction goal and covered a wide array of sectors like energy, vehicle fuels, recycling, planning, and public health. For example: SB 375
promotes good planning and helps reduce GHGs by linking transportation and land use decisions, AB 341
expands recycling and diversion goals to 75% by 2020, the low carbon fuel standard
calls for a reduction of at least 10% in the carbon intensity of California’s transportation fuels by 2020, and AB 758
outlines a plan to achieve greater energy efficiency in existing buildings. And the list goes on. Join these efforts with programs like the California Solar Initiative
and the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard
, the California Green Building Code, support for zero-emissions vehicles, and initiatives like Health in all Policies
and you have a better picture of just how all-encompassing climate action is, and how comprehensive local climate action plans need to be.
The AB 32 Scoping Plan, while not precisely mandating local actions, made it clear that local governments were valuable partners in the state’s quest to reach our common goals. The plan gave some direction while building in flexibility, so each community has the freedom to develop plans based on location, resources, strengths, constraints, policies, and local input.
The framework outlines a package of 53 actions that will help meet climate protection targets. To be included in the framework, every action had to meet four criteria: (1) it is under local control, (2) it will result in significant GHG emission reductions, (3) it is cost-effective, and (4) it is politically feasible. Each jurisdiction continues to work on its own climate or sustainability plans; all are in varying stages of development and completion and, as with any great effort, all will require the combined effort of residents, businesses, and local government in Napa County to succeed.
Click here for a more comprehensive list of state and local strategies and programs that direct, support, and complement climate action efforts.