Climate Change

Introduction

The City of Benicia has joined an increasing number of California communities in developing plans to address climate change at a local level.

Although climate change is a global problem, city leaders in the U.S. and abroad are increasingly recognizing that it will directly affect their constituents and pose risks to public health, safety, and welfare. It is also at the local level that many strategies to both adapt to the changing climate and combat its progression are best enacted.
 
This plan sets forth a series of actions Benicia can take to reduce its contribution to global climate change by lowering its greenhouse gas emissions.
 

Climate Action Plan Overview

The City utilized the data collected in the Community-wide and Local Government Operations inventories to identify and categorize the major sources and quantities of GHG emissions.  The data provides a framework on which to base objectives and strategies that specifically address Benicia's emissions sources.  The Climate Action Plan (CAP) organizes these objectives and strategies into the following focus areas:
 
 
Within each focus area, measures are ranked according to potential emissions reductions measured in CO2EMT.
 
In addition, there are 3 Principles that will assist the City to achieve its reduction goals:
 
Principle 1. Expand the Role of the Internal Green Team
The group is comprised of City staff assigned to infrastructure and facility management and maintenance, utility management, fleet maintenance and procurement, material supply procurement, transit management, and policy development.  The group will develop and implement, with senior City management approval, policies and programs that relate to greenhouse gas reduction, green operations, and forward-thinking climate protection planning.
 
Principle 2. Annual GHG Reduction Monitoring Report
Creating a system to track strategy indicators and performance measures is crucial to measure reductions and program effectiveness.   The CAP Coordinator will develop a tracking system that measures reductions on a project-by-project basis and includes annual or lifetime analysis of GHG reductions and if appropriate, any financial savings or returns associated with each project.  The CAP Coordinator will compile annual monitoring reports that examine project-by-project reductions as well as complete two additional GHG inventories to measure overall reductions since 2000 (baseline year). 
 
Principle 3. Greenhouse Gas Reductions in Industrial and Commercial Sector.
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Industrial and Commercial sector is critically important given the significant emissions associated with the sectors.  The City will actively engage the business community to work together to develop strategies that add value to the businesses through efficiency and infrastructure, while reducing GHG emissions.  

Purpose

The purpose of the Climate Action Plan is to provide objectives and strategies that guide the development and implementation of actions that cut Benicia’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to meet its goal of reducing GHG emissions to 2005 levels by 2010 and reducing GHG emissions to 10 percent below 2000 levels by 2020.

Organization

The Climate Action Plan is organized into the following chapters:

 
Introduction – provides an overview of the ICLEI five step process that is being followed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
 
Climate Change Science + Policy – summarizes the changes that are taking place in the Earth’s atmosphere as a result of human activity and describes the effects they will have locally. This chapter also describes legislation and policies being implemented at international, national, State, and local levels to combat climate change.
 
Emission Reduction Measures – organizes objectives and strategies to reduce locally generated emissions in each of the eight focus areas. 
 
Conclusion - compares emission reduction measures to the adopted City and Community targets.