Climate Protection Program
Latest Climate-Related News and Events
2050 GHG Reduction Goals and a Regional Climate Protection Strategy
The Air District’s Climate Protection Program has had many achievements through collaboration with state and regional agencies, local governments, and community stakeholder groups. After eight years of implementing successful climate protection efforts, the Air District is evaluating challenges and opportunities to reassess the focus of the Climate Protection Program. Recent activities at the state and regional levels, combined with great interest among local stakeholder groups, make this an opportune time for regional climate action.
The California Air Resources Board is in the process of updating the AB 32 Scoping Plan. This provides an opportunity for the Air District to provide input into how the state will address climate protection well into the future. In addition, approximately fifty local governments in the Bay Area have adopted climate action plans, leading all other metropolitan regions across the country in local climate action planning. This fast-growing level of climate planning activity provides an excellent opportunity to collaborate with and support local jurisdictions in developing new policy approaches to reducing GHG emissions. In addition, stakeholder groups have approached the Air District with a willingness to collaborate to find new paths to significant GHG emission reductions in the Bay Area.
In response to these opportunities, staff prepared and the Board adopted a resolution that seeks to build on local, regional, and state climate protection efforts. This includes taking action to:
- Setting a goal for the Bay Area region of reducing GHG emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050; and
- Developing a Regional Climate Protection Strategy to make progress toward achieving the 2050 goal for GHG emission reductions that complements existing planning efforts at the state, regional, and local levels, utilizing the Air District's 2015 Clean Air Plan to initiate the process; and
- Develop a work program to guide the Air District climate protection activities in the near-term
Staff incorporated the feedback and revisions on the resolution from the Board of Directors during its November 6, 2013 meeting. Further materials and available information may be downloaded from the board packet.
Staff worked with stakeholders to finalize the draft work program pursuant to the Board of Director's feedback. Staff conducted a robust outreach effort beginning in December 2013, including meetings in each of the 9 counties (attended by local government staff; public health agencies, special districts, transportation agencies, land-use planning organizations, local energy agencies and environmental advocacy and local business groups) and with specific stakeholder groups such as 350 Bay Area, Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance, regional agency planning staff, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Air District staff also conducted a region-wide public workshop which was well-attended by many of the aforementioned stakeholders. An archive of the public workshop webcast is available.
On April 2, 2014, staff presented the 10-Point Climate Action Work Program to the Board of Directors; the Board voted to approve the work program. The 10-Point Climate Action Work Program includes:
- Set GHG reduction goal and interim targets
- Develop Regional Climate Action Strategy
- Initiate Rule Development
- Launch Climate Change & Public Health Initiative
- Explore Bay Area's Energy Future
Assistance to Local Governments:
- Support and Enhance Local Action
- Report Progress to the Public
- Update Inventorying and Forecasting
- Implement GHG Emissions Monitoring
- Expand Enforcement
Further materials and information may be downloaded from the Board packet.
Marin Carbon Project
The Marin Carbon Project (MCP), an initiative created in response to the rapid pace of global climate change, was presented to the Air District's Climate Protection Committee on December 1, 2014. A copy of the presentation is available for download. The presentation outlined an approach to increasing carbon sequestration in rangeland, agricultural, and forest soils by applying a thin layer of compost over the soil. Through its work with the MCP, University of California researchers have determined that a single application of a one-half inch layer of compost on grazed rangelands can significantly increase plant growth, water retention in the soil, and soil carbon sequestration. For additional information, visit the Marin Carbon Project webpage.
California Air Districts Launch Greenhouse Gas Exchange
The California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA), representing California's 35 local air districts, has launched the CAPCOA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Exchange. The Exchange provides a reliable, low-cost, secure platform to encourage locally generated, high quality GHG emission reduction credits that can be used to meet CEQA or other compliance requirements.
On January 21, 2014 the Air District hosted a public workshop of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Exchange. The workshop was webcast - click here to access the archived webcast and Powerpoint Presentation.
Core District Initiatives
The Air District's Climate Protection Program was established in 2005 with the adoption of a resolution that acknowledged the link between climate protection and programs to reduce air pollution in the Bay Area. The Board of Directors also formed a standing Committee on Climate Protection to provide direction on District climate protection activities.
A central element of the District’s climate protection program is the integration of climate protection activities into existing District programs. The District is continually seeking ways to integrates climate protection into current District functions, including grant programs, CEQA commenting, regulations, inventory development, and outreach. In addition, the District's climate protection program emphasizes collaboration with ongoing climate protection efforts at the local and State level, public education and outreach and technical assistance to cities and counties.
SF Bay Area Climate Action Web Portal
Visit the District’s Climate Action Web Portal - a central clearinghouse for Bay Area local governments to access climate action tools and resources. The District developed the climate action portal to share and facilitate implementation of climate actions. The climate portal features climate action best practices, case studies, and news and events from Bay Area local governments. The portal was developed in partnership with the Institute for Local Government.
Climate portal features include:
- Explore case studies highlighting climate actions by Bay Area local governments;
- Track Bay Area cities’ and counties’ progress in climate planning;
- Learn about regional approaches to climate actions.
Help spread the word by sharing this climate portal with others! We encourage local governments’ and other related websites to link to the climate portal. Local governments are invited to submit best practices, events, tools, resources, links, etc, for posting on the climate portal. For questions and content submissions contact Jackie Winkel.
4th and 5th Grade Curriculum
Protect Your Climate is a climate protection curriculum for 4th and 5th graders. Comprised of 16 lessons, the curriculum addresses the science of climate change and empowers students with knowledge, tools, and skills to reduce greenhouse gases in their communities, homes, and day to day lives. For assistance in implementing Protect Your Climate in schools and classrooms, contact Kristina Chu.
Download the curriculum:
Climate Protection Curriculum
GHG Regional Inventory
The District has prepared an emission inventory of greenhouse gas sources in the Bay Area. The inventory estimates direct and indirect emissions from sources within the District’s jurisdiction for the following gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. This emissions inventory estimates GHG emissions produced in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007.
GHG Fee for Stationary Sources
On May 21, 2008, the District’s Board of Directors approved a new fee on air pollution sources in the region to help defray the costs associated with the District’s climate protection activities and programs, including environmental review, air pollution regulations and emissions inventory development. Industrial facilities and businesses that are currently required to submit an air quality permit to operate will have the modest fee of 4.4 cents per metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions added to their permit bill. The fee will apply to climate protection program activities related to stationary sources, for example, developing inventories.
Internal Climate Protection Efforts
The District is continuing to evaluate and implement measures to reduce electricity and fuel consumption associated with District activities. The District is a reporting member of the California Climate Action Registry and Sustainable Silicon Valley, and conducts annual carbon footprint analysis and reporting. BAAQMD has made a concerted effort to reduce its carbon footprint in a number of ways, including the establishment of a green fleet of vehicles, transit subsidies for District employees, composting, the creation of a Green Team and energy efficiency upgrades to District facilities.
Past Climate Change Activities
Climate Protection Grant Program – the District awarded $3 million to fund 53 climate action projects in the Bay Area.
Climate Action Leadership Summit for Local Governments – the District hosted this with the goal of accelerating implementation of climate actions in the Bay Area.