It’s time to update the City of Benicia’s 10-year-old Climate Action plan. This is especially important in 2019 in consideration of:
- hugely consequential recent international and U.S. scientific findings on climate change (see links below), and
- new California laws and target dates for meeting climate and pollution goals (links below).
Updating the Climate Action Plan could be initiated by City staff and the Community Sustainability Commission. The Commission could consider this as part of its work plan for the next year (2019).
Barriers to this could be budget issues, possible lack of council support and staff capacity. The way the Commission overcame the lack of staff 10 years ago was through the working groups that provided invaluable insight, work products and so forth. From 2012-2014, we also had a staff Climate Action Coordinator, who, if restored, could provide invaluable service for this effort.
On the City of Benicia’s Sustainability page you can find the 10-year-old 2009 Climate Action Plan. (Only sections are available there – no link to the whole document.) Here is my link for viewing or downloading the entire Benicia Climate Action Plan document from the Institute for Local Government: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sFDmNNEJK-9bX3r0vdH3NvzxPHHP9W8Z (The ILG link is here.)
Note in addition, Benicia has a 2016 Climate Change Adaptation Plan. If I understand correctly, this is one strategy as a subset of our overall Climate Action Plan.
Links on recent scientific findings:
- Groundbreaking new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Oct. 1, 2018: Global Warming of 1.5 °C
- > NYTimes summary of the IPCC report, Oct. 7, 2018: Landmark U.N. Climate Report: By 2040, Inundated Coastlines, Intensified Droughts & Poverty
- > VOX, Oct. 7, 2018: A major new climate report slams the door on wishful thinking
- > The Guardian, Oct. 8, 2018: We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN
- > NYTimes on Oct. 9, 2018: Dire Climate Warning Lands With a Thud on Trump’s Desk
- Federal U.S. scientist’s shocking report, Nov. 23, 2018, National Climate Assessment,
- > The Atlantic’s report: Dire warnings buried on black Friday
Links on California strategies and target dates:
- California Climate Strategy, climatechange.ca.gov (Emissions to 40% Below 1990 levels by 2030)
- Governor’s Climate Change Pillars: 2030 Greenhouse Reducing California Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals
- CARB search on “Local”, including Local Actions for Climate Change, Dec. 17, 2018 which has a section on Local Government Climate Action Plans
- CARB: Sustainable Communities
- California Senate Bill 375 (SB 375), “Transportation planning: travel demand models: sustainable communities strategy: environmental review.