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Climate Check: How Southern California is Performing on Climate

With California at the epicenter of climate change—from devastating floods to deadly wildfires—our legislation must reflect the urgency of the climate crisis. 

Many of our cities are falling behind in reaching climate goals needed to protect our families and neighbors. It’s time to double down, secure historic funding opportunities for climate action, and create resilient communities.

Enter Climate Action Plans (CAPs): necessary roadmaps to an equitable zero-carbon future. Yet, CAPs are only as good as their implementation. Many CAPs are ineffective because they aren’t legally binding, lack detailed implementation, or leave out key strategies to address equity issues or green job creation.

So, how can communities know which policies and plans are strong and which are greenwashing efforts? Our Climate Action Plan Report Card is here to help! Every year, we release a report card that grades San Diego or Orange County cities on their climate action progress. 

And we’ve made waves! Since the 2017 release of our inaugural Report Card, the number of San Diego cities with a CAP increased by 44%. That’s huge! Our success in San Diego allowed us to expand our grading efforts into Orange County. Last year, we released our inaugural Orange County CAP Report Card.

We want to thank you and our community for your support. These reports take months to craft, and it is through your efforts and contributions that our advocacy and watchdogging efforts are successful. 

We have some good news! In the next few months, we’ll release an updated report for both the San Diego and Orange County regions. Follow us on socials, subscribe to our newsletter, or bookmark our website to stay tuned

While you wait, here’s everything you need to know  ⬇️

What’s a Climate Action Plan?

Climate Action Plans (CAPs) are comprehensive tools that help local governments address the climate crisis. CAPs are roadmaps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). 

CAPs are opportunities for local governments to develop comprehensive climate strategies and implementation plans that meet the scale of the climate crisis challenge and help bring clean air, safe streets, clean energy, affordable homes, and economic benefits to local families and businesses.

CAPs can also provide models of bold and equitable climate solutions to be exported, scaled, and replicated at all levels of government.

Climate Action Plans are long-range planning documents that:

  1. quantify local governments’ current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions levels, 

  2. identify target levels to which they plan to reduce their emissions, 

  3. chart the strategies and measures to enable local governments to reduce emissions to their targeted levels. 

Typically, CAPs focus on strategies that help reduce emissions from these key categories: energy, transportation and land use, solid waste, water and wastewater, equity issues, green jobs, and carbon sequestration.

What makes a strong Climate Action Plan?

What’s the CAP Report Card?

What can I expect in the newest San Diego CAP Report Card?

What can I expect in the newest Orange County CAP Report Card?

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