The Regional Climate Protection Authority, (RCPA) was created in 2009 by the County of Sonoma and city jurisdictions therein. As a multi-jurisdictional agency, RCPA has been tasked with coordinating county-wide efforts to quantify existing greenhouse gas emissions across sectors, reduce greenhouse gases and aid Sonoma County in becoming more resilient to climate change. The RCPA was the first of its kind in the US.

RCPA began preparation of the climate action plan (Climate Action 2020) in 2013 with a series of public workshops and creation of a stakeholder advisory group. Utilizing information gained through the workshops, RCPA embarked on preparation of Climate Action 2020. My affiliate organization, the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative (NBCAI), has worked closely with RCPA during the process to help identify Sonoma County’s vulnerabilities to climate change. RCPA released it final draft of Climate Action 2020 in July 2016. http://rcpa.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/CA2020_Plan_7-7-16_web.pdf

Climate Action 2020 highlights include:

  • Climate Action 2020 proposed actions will put Sonoma County on a path towards a 2050 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels.
  • RCPA will lead implementation of the plan and support local actions through grant funding, research, technical assistance, outreach, and education.
  • City jurisdictions may now adopt mitigation measures contained in the plan to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The plan allows tearing for greenhouse gas assessment for other projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Climate Action 2020 was also subject to environmental review under CEQA. To review the Climate Action 2020 Environmental Impact Report, go to http://rcpa.ca.gov/projects/climate-action-2020/climate-action-2020-envi...

Creation of Climate Action 2020 will allow us to collectively move toward implementing plans and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Sonoma County, doing our part locally, in the state, in the nation and in the world to reduce climate change impacts and the need for implementing adaptation measures. Stay tuned for more on the rollout.