Funding Sacramento County’s Climate Action Plan

On May 12, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group sent a letter to Sacramento County with concerns about funding the County’s Climate Action Plan.

We are gratified that on April 7, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to proceed with work on the County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). However, we are concerned that the fiscal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could make it difficult to include the CAP work, of approximately $300,000 disbursed over two fiscal years, in the County’s FY 20-21 budget.

Click here to read the letter in full.


On May 27, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group sent a response letter to Sacramento County with concerns about funding the County’s Climate Action Plan.

Thank you for your prompt response to our May 12 letter on CAP funding. We appreciate your efforts to secure funding for the CAP. As reported at the County’s May 24, 2017 CAP workshop, most of the work (then $267,060 contract and $431,300 staff) was to have been funded by Long Range Planning fees. However, your response indicated funding from development project applicants instead. It isn’t clear if these are only applicants currently in the entitlement process; if so we have the following concerns.

Click here to read the letter in full.

Photo by Ron Reiring via flickr.

Win! Sac County Commits to Climate Planning

April 8, 2020
From 350 Sacramento:

Victory! At their April 7 public hearing, the Sacramento Board of Supervisors directed staff to start work on their long-overdue Climate Action Plan (CAP). Supervisors mentioned the significant public comments they received and growing public concern over climate change. It’s taken over a year of advocacy by 350 Sacramento, ECOS, and Sierra Club to get the County to say they would do what they had committed to. Our coalition submitted numerous letters and comments, coordinated with environmental justice and faith organizations, and organized an online letter/petition email campaign that generated 94 emails to each Board member encouraging them to move the CAP forward. 350 Sacramento also provided each Supervisor copies of 350 Sacramento’s CAP Recommendations document and the book Uninhabitable Earth. We achieved a big goal, but this is just the first step. Our next challenge is to make sure adequate funds are budgeted for the CAP. Then the real work begins. Big land developers consider robust CAP measures a threat and they have political influence. To get a strong CAP we need to generate strong public support over the next year. This is a fight we can win but it won’t be easy. We’ll keep you posted on how you can help.

Image by Bessi from Pixabay

Initiation of Sacramento County Action Plan

April 06, 2020

The Environmental Council of Sacramento, 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club submitted a comment letter regarding Sacramento County’s initiation of a Climate Action Plan.

Here is an excerpt from our letter:

Thank you for your leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you also for committing to initiate the County’s Climate action Plan (CAP), and to discuss it during the Board’s April 7, 2020 hearing on the County’s General Plan 2019 Annual Report.
We are gratified that the CAP is included in the planning department’s work plan, but disappointed that the Report asserts work won’t begin until “a path forward is made clear” with the resolution of unspecified CAP-related lawsuits in other jurisdictions. Absent identification of such suits and explanation of why they preclude progress on the CAP, the County has not explained why it needs to continue its nine-year delay in fulfilling its greenhouse gas-reduction commitments (noted in Attachment).
As we’ve advised in previous correspondence, since the County committed to adopt a CAP in 2011, four other jurisdictions in the SACOG region have adopted CAPs which they consider “qualified”, and three more are currently in active draft, notwithstanding pending litigation in other jurisdictions.
We recognize this is a difficult time to begin new initiatives, but with both the pandemic and climate crises, time is not on our side. The pandemic crisis is short-term and immediate, but while the impacts of climate change are gradual, they are more enduring.
Therefore, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We ask you to move ahead with a climate action plan and do what is required to avoid a threat whose scope has no historic parallel; to do not as little, but as much as possible.

Click here to read the letter in full.

Sacramento County Climate Action

March 18, 2020 – Action Alert (Good News!)

These are confusing and difficult times, but we have some good news. Sacramento County Supervisors on April 7, 2020 will discuss starting their long-delayed Climate Action Plan. We want to help them do the right thing. Click below to tell the Supervisors you want a strong Climate Action Plan in Sacramento County. Thank you very much.


Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Requesting Sacramento County Greenhouse Gas Report

General Plan Annual Report: GHG Measures

On February 20, 2020, the Environmental Council of Sacramento, 350 Sacramento and the Sierra Club Sacramento Group submitted a request to the County of Sacramento for a report on greenhouse gases as part of their general plan.

CA Government Code §65400 requires the County to report by April 1 of each year the status of the general plan and progress in its implementation. We expect the Board of Supervisors to review the pending report at a March 2020 hearing.

General Plan Policy LU-115, adopted November 2011, states a goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and presents four implementation measures:
• Adopt by resolution a first-phase Climate Action Plan.
• Complete a GHG emissions inventory every three years.
• Prepare a second-phase Climate Action Plan within three years.
• Enact and fund a Sustainability Program to provide ongoing oversight, monitoring and maintenance of the Climate Action Plan.

Click here to read the letter in full.

Image by kuanish Sarsenov from Pixabay

Galt CAP Requires EIR Analysis

December 4, 2019

The Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020, the Sierra Club Sacramento Group and 350 Sacramento submitted a letter containing our follow up to comments on the City of Galt’s draft Climate Action Plan (CAP).

The City of Galt has prepared a draft Climate Action Plan (CAP) describing how it proposes to meet legal obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the City. Adoption of a CAP requires environmental analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The City proposes to conduct abbreviated environmental review with a “Negative Declaration” (MND) instead of an “Environmental Impact Report” (EIR). ECOS and partner organizations assert that abbreviated review would not be legally acceptable, and further argue that conducting separate reviews for the CAP and two related road-building studies would be impermissible “piece-mealing” (analyzing environmental impacts of a single project as if it were several separate projects, to minimize apparent impacts).

Below are some of our key points.

  • Preparing an MND for the CAP would be inconsistent with CEQA requirements. Our earlier letter demonstrates with substantial evidence that the City’s draft CAP does not meet the requirements for a qualified GHG reduction plan or for mitigation enforceability, per CEQA Guidelines . . . We cited unsupported use of statewide targets, failure to meet the State’s 2050 target, non-enforceability of virtually all proposed mitigation measures, inadequate monitoring and update protocol, and lack of implementation funding.
  • The above would support a fair argument that adopting the draft CAP as a qualified GHG reduction plan which could streamline (i.e. diminish) CEQA review for future projects will likely have a significant effect on the environment. Pursuant to 14 CCR §15064 such a potential impact requires environmental analysis via an EIR.
  • The City’s grant agreement provides for concurrent development of three planning documents… [which] appear to be one whole project. The second two are clearly directly related. The CAP . . . would have, “a potential . . . reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment” by reducing or obviating future GHG analysis of the urban development made possible by extending Carillion Boulevard . . . analyzing the . . . potential environmental effects of these three plans together in one document would fall more properly within CEQA’s regulatory requirements.

Click here to read the letter.