There are two aspects of Climate Action Planning we recommend the City could cost effectively address within the Comp Planning timeframe which would illustrate real climate planning action to community members, establish a strong foundation for full climate action planning by the City, and define meaningful climate action efforts for the City to focus on over the next few years - all while not disrupting or overtaking the traditional comp planning work which is critical for the City. The two aspects of work are: Foundational community information, and climate action planning framework
Foundational Community Information:
A good climate action planning effort is based on solid foundational community information. Without this information, long-range goals and effective strategies cannot be established. This information can be created within a full Climate Action Plan, but establishing it in advance has two advantages – first it will reduce the time and cost associated with a full Climate Action Plan, and secondly, it is absolutely the first step in climate planning. This means that the City can report back to all interested constituents that it has begun climate planning in earnest. The tasks that fit into this category are:
GHG inventory – determine existing baseline emissions city wide as well as for city operations. Determination of the existing ghg emissions forms the basis of future action strategy development and monitoring
Climate Vulnerability Review – Identify projected climate change impacts for community at mid-century and end of century; identification of physical and population vulnerabilities to climate change; development of preliminary “menu of strategies” for potential goals and actions for climate adaptation within the City. This document will provide a strong foundation for final climate adaptation planning.
City-Wide Renewable Energy Potentials Review – This effort identifies not only the total physical capacity of renewable energy within the community, but also the currently cost effective capacity as well as the likely market absorption of renewable energy in the City. By establishing a likely market absorption as well as cost effective capacities, the City can begin to make mid and long-term renewable energy goals that are based on a reflection of estimated potentials. In our experience, community leaders feel much more comfortable making long-range GHG emissions and renewable energy goals when this type of information is available – without it, many elected officials become uncomfortable as it feels like they are making goals based on guesses.
Climate Action Plan Framework:
Climate Action Framework - this effort would Identify long-range and interim goals for GHG emissions and renewable energy portfolio within city. Additionally, this effort would identify initial actions/strategies that the City can begin implementing following the completion of a comp plan. You can think of this as a preliminary Climate Action Plan which would provide guidance on initial efforts and structure for the City to build on moving forward. With this effort in place, the City could proactively engage climate action with its interested citizens immediately and engage in a full and comprehensive Climate Action Planning effort following the Comp Planning timeframe.
Comp Plan Integration – the results of the work above could be integrated into the comp plan in a simplified section (“Climate” or “Resilience”), or more than one section (“Energy”, “Emissions”, and “Resilience”)
Note: The example below is a recent effort by paleBLUEdot where the City chose to integrate the energy and emission goals paleBLUEdot helped establish. Although the City also had the Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Climate Action Framework documents created by paleBLUEdot, the City chose to not include summary content on these efforts and simply identify comp strategies to execute full Climate Adaptation and Mitigation planning.