Does it feel like Orange County is behind or silent on climate policy even though California is known as a leader in climate policy? That’s because it is. OC is about ten years behind the rest of California on climate policy.
Because of this, I wasn’t sure what cities could do to combat climate change locally. At the beginning of my journey as a climate activist, I thought climate policy came from my state and that my city needed to enact state policies to address climate change. Now I know that my city can and must create its own climate policies.
Many cities do this through a Climate Action Plan or CAP. A CAP is a detailed roadmap of how a city will reduce emissions to address the climate crisis and its impacts based on the needs of residents. But not all climate action plans are equal. Many are ineffective because they aren’t specific or legally binding, and they leave out key strategies to address equity issues or green job creation. So how do residents know what’s real and what’s greenwashing?
Our CAP Report Card is here to help! We compiled all the best practices in a CAP and created a scorecard. With this scorecard, we reviewed OC’s existing CAPs, researched how they have been implemented since adoption, and scored them. We put all the scores together in our first edition OC CAP Report Card to provide an easy-to-use tool for community members, city staff, and elected officials.
We can’t wait to share the results of our inaugural CAP Report Card with you on Wednesday! Please join us at our press conference on January 25th at 11 am at the Santa Ana Transit Center.
At the press conference, you can learn what CAPs need to succeed and the strengths and weaknesses of OC CAPs. You'll also hear from local electeds and community leaders leading the way for better climate policies in OC. Click here to RSVP.