Climate Committee

down angle photography of red clouds and blue sky
Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger pexels[dot]com

The Climate Committee makes climate action a primary focus for ECOS advocacy, and a pivot point for its land use, transportation, green building, and environmental justice teams. This interdisciplinary group meets monthly to discuss issues and plan education, advocacy, and outreach work. The Climate Committee invites people to put their minds and energy to these issues.

The Climate Committee encourages local jurisdictions to meet their commitments to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, and of course, the State of California’s mandate to reach net zero carbon by 2045 (per the California Climate Crisis Act, AB1279). To achieve these reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, jurisdictions need to take actions that were until now inconceivable, such as stopping approvals of sprawl development; and increasing taxes to fund a) infrastructure for dense development around transit and b) the transition to all-electric for buildings and vehicles.

The Climate Committee and its teams advocate for consistency across jurisdictions in inventorying emissions, setting targets, employing climate action methods, verifying GHG reductions, and meeting related laws, regulations and guidelines.

Check this repository of documents for supporting materials for the Climate Committee and its Teams — Land Use, Transportation, Green Building, and Environmental Justice.

Creek in Natomas

The Land Use – Natomas Team is working to protect habitat and agricultural land in the Natomas Basin to ensure the success of the Natomas Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (estab. 1997).

Light rail in Sacramento, Photo by Josh Robichaud

The Transportation Team focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, and on providing a transit network that makes it possible to live without a car in the Sacramento region.

Team priorities include a) the expansion and filling-in of the transit network and obtaining funding to do so; b) the retrofit of streets to prioritize walking and biking; c) the equitable distribution of electric vehicle charging stations; d) improvement of poor air quality in residential areas near freeways and industrial sites; e) battling against highway expansions and low density development that produces lots of car trips.

Sacramento Redlining Map 1938, https://gettingaroundsac.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/holc-scan.jpg

Environmental Justice (EJ): The EJ Team brings together experts in housing equity and the effects of institutional racism in planning. It advises on advocacy and outreach strategies; helps to ensure vigorous and effective public participation in Sacramento area jurisdictions’ planning; participates in the anti-displacement activities of Sacramento Investment Without Displacement (SIWD) in the Aggie Square community benefits agreement (CBA) and other future CBAs. This team also addresses homelessness, food security, and public health issues as well. It engages young people and, with the Organizational Development Committee, is starting ECOS YOUTH for the next generation of ECOS leaders.

Sacramento County – Areas shown in GREEN are protected by the Urban Services Boundary

The Land Use Team focuses on development patterns, as they have a huge impact on quality of life, sense of community, access to destinations, transportation options, and amount of GHG emissions produced.

The Land Use Team works to preserve open space for habitat and agriculture, and to limit development in fire- and flood-prone areas.

The team’s top objectives for urban areas are 1) to provide affordable housing for our growing population, 2) to link housing and transit to enable car-free living and reduce the the combined housing and transportation costs to residents, and 3) to revitalize existing, often decaying inner suburbs.

It advocates for five- to ten-story development along and around transit stations, use of graduated density zoning to reduce the difficulties of land assembly for infill development, use of inclusionary zoning for affordable units in new developments, elimination of parking minimums, establishment of parking benefit districts, and transference of development rights, among other things.

The natural complement to infill projects near transit and major community assets is the walkable neighborhood. The team advocates for connected streets, pedestrian paths and bicycle routes; insertion of more urban parks and greenways for shade, recreation and habitat, and the addition of public gathering spaces and promenades.

Trees for Sacramento is an arm of the Land Use Team. It is a group of tree advocates that champion neighborhood quality of life and sustainability.

Gardens around building in Singapore, https://woha.net/project/parkroyal-on-pickering/

Green Building: The building sector is responsible for about forty percent of the emissions in the County and City of Sacramento. The Green Building Team demonstrates and advocates for advanced sustainability standards for materials, construction, and operations to be incorporated into California building codes and jurisdictions’ ordinances. Also, the team brings creative solutions to the difficult problem of retrofitting existing buildings to all-electric.