SF Carbon Fund

First U.S. city to use a surcharge on staff airfare to fund local, green projects (Carbon Fund)

San Francisco, CA

Dogpatch Biofuel

Dogpatch Biofuel

How you can benefit

In July 2009, the City passed an ordinance establishing the San Francisco Carbon Mitigation Program (SF Carbon Fund) to mitigate and sequester carbon by:

  1. Requiring City departments to pay Carbon Impact Payments—a 13% surcharge for each airline ticket purchased for staff.
  2. Mandating San Francisco Department of Environment to grant those funds to government, nonprofit or business projects that reduce or offset polluting greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area.

Why it's a leading policy

It was the first U.S. city to use a surcharge on staff airfare to fund local, green projects instead of far away ones. And it is not limited to funding carbon offset projects like community gardens and tree plantings. It can also fund projects that retain storm water, cool temperatures, filter air, and more.

Goal

To lessen carbon pollution by funding greenhouse gas reducing activities.

Who can take action

Any organization in the world can fund the Carbon Fund.  Conferences in the city contributed funds.

Outcome

It funded projects such as Dog Patch Biofuel, the city's first and only public biodiesel-only filling station. It sells recycled or “waste grease” biodiesel.  Its biodiesel does not have virgin feedstocks that often:

  • Cause more polluting carbon because forests are cut to grow corn, palm or soybeans for biodiesel.
  • Could have been grown to feed people.

Contact

Shawn Rosenmoss, Development, Community Partnerships, SF Carbon Fund, San Francisco, (415) 355-3746, shawn.rosenmoss@sfgov.org

Last Updated

July 10, 2015

Chula Vista Climate Action Plan

Exceeding CA standards for reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions (Climate Action Plan)

Chula Vista, CA

Chula Vista Climate Awards

Chula Vista Climate Awards

HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

If you live in Chula Vista, you’ll benefit because their Climate Action Plan will help with 18 issues such as:

  • Preventing storm water pollution and extreme heat by promoting cool paving and roofs, and shade trees (which also increase property values).
  • Planning for the increase in wildfires and flooding because the city's sea level is expected to rise up to 18 inches.
  • Making it easier to install solar, recycle water and create water efficient landscapes.

It also requires:

  • Clean vehicles for the city and its contractors
  • Free Resource & Energy Business Evaluations (FREBE)
  • Green Buildings
  • Smart Growth

Their Climate Action Plan combines their 2000 CO2 Reduction Plan, 2008 Climate Mitigation Plan and 2011 Climate Adaptation.  Chula Vista created resolutions in 2008 and 2011 to adopt climate adaptation plans.

WHY IT'S A LEADING PROGRAM

Chula Vista was the first public agency in San Diego County to receive the “Climate Action Leader” designation from the California Climate Action Registry and the “Climate Registered” designation from The Climate Registry.”   It has received several awards

Unlike San Diego's plan, Chula Vista's sets short-term goals because it has been updated every few years from 1996-2013. San Diego’s plan has goals stretching to 2035.  Also, San Diego’s Climate Action Plan was written to complement the city’s general plan.  Chula Vista’s wasn’t but their plans exceeded state standards for reducing the harmful emissions (Read more).

GOAL

Reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 30% below 2005 levels.

WHO CAN TAKE ACTION

The Climate Change Working Group (residents, businesses, and community organizations) meet to help update the Climate Action Plan.

Outcome 

As of 2013, it adopted these climate actions:

  • Cool roof ordinance in 2012.
  • Shade tree policy along streets and in parking lots in 2012.
  • CA Green Building Standards Code in 2010 (before the required date).
  • Voluntary Green Building Plus program offered expedited permitting in 2011.
  • Conversion of 100% of their public transit fleet to alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Solar ready ordinances in 2009. Over 1,500 new residential units adopted pre-wiring and pre-plumbing standards for solar panels and solar hot water.
  • Landscape Water Conservation Ordinance in 2010.

BUDGET TO COORDINATE THE PROGRAM

As of 2011, initial implementation of all 11 strategies phased in over three years cost $554,000.  Existing funding sources will allow for at least 8 of 11 strategies to be fully or partially implemented (read more).  Ongoing implementation of the 11 strategies will cost $337,000 annually and will be partially covered through existing funding sources and grants.

CONTACT

Robert Beamon, Administrative Services Manager, City of Chula Vista, rbeamon@ci.chula-vista.ca.us

LAST UPDATED

November 1, 2015

San Diego General Plan

First CA city plan to address climate change after CA Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (General Plan), 2008

SAN DIEGO, CA

San Diego General Plan. Photo from the American Planning Association.

San Diego General Plan. Photo from the American Planning Association.

HOW IT CAN BENEFIT YOU

As of 2015, more than half of the world’s population is living in cities.  So city policies can make a big impact to protect our health and planet.  

Less than 4% of land in San Diego was available for development as of 2008.  So San Diego created a General Plan based on the City of Villages smart growth strategy of mixed-use (residential and commercial) neighborhoods that:

  • Have green buildings and clean technology industries.
  • Are walkable, accessible by public transit water and energy efficient.
  • Preserve open spaces and urban forests.

WHY IT'S A LEADING PROGRAM

It was the first California city general plan to address climate change after the CA Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 passed requiring CA to reduce its pollution (greenhouse gas emissions) to 1990 levels by 2020.

GOAL

To provide a policy framework for how San Diego should plan for projected growth and public services for 20 to 30 years.

WHO CAN TAKE ACTION

City staff and community members worked on, and can update the plan.

SUPPORT & OPPOSITION

Watch this video on how the planning process involved 260 public meetings and got unanimous buy-in from City Council, and received the 2010 American Planning Association Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan.

ISSUES & BARRIERS

Some of the main issues were balancing needs for outward expansion and investment in existing communities, addressing infrastructure and environmental justice, preserving neighborhoods, and comprehensively incorporating sustainability.

LEGAL ISSUES

City planners followed the general plan guidance offered by the California Office of Planning and Research.

BUDGET TO COORDINATE THE PROGRAM

The majority of the plan was prepared by city staff.  They worked with consultants to update the plan.

CONTACT

Nancy Bragado, Deputy Director, Planning Department, City of San Diego, 619-533-4549, nsbragado@sandiego.gov

LAST UPDATED

September 15, 2015