City of Richmond Climate Action Plan
With an economy long dependent on heavy industry and a location along the San Francisco Bay, the City of Richmond recognized the need to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and adapt to the emerging hazards presented by climate change. ESA helped the City develop a comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CAP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and prepare the community for rising seas, higher temperatures, and changing precipitation patterns. The CAP builds on the City’s recently adopted Health in All Policies (HiAP) strategy, which aims to bring health, well-being, and equity considerations into all City policies, programs, and services.
The CAP used community input and cross-sector collaboration to prioritize outcomes with the most community benefits, requiring extensive public outreach and coordination with multiple agencies and stakeholders. ESA led focused stakeholder meetings with utility companies, local business representatives, community-based organizations, and the local school district. The resulting CAP strategies are designed to achieve deep reductions in the city’s GHG emissions while ensuring that health and economic benefits are distributed equitably across the community. In particular, ESA worked closely with the local Community Choice Energy program (Marin Clean Energy), along with several energy-oriented advocacy groups, to craft strategies for greatly improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy. As part of the CAP, ESA completed a detailed Climate Change Adaptation Study, assessing the city’s most important assets’ vulnerabilities to climate change hazards, and evaluating the risks associated with those vulnerabilities.
Unanimously approved by the Richmond City Council in October 2016, the CAP solidifies the City’s vision for a thriving, healthy, and resilient community with clear goals and specific actions that strengthen the connections between climate protection, public health, local economy, and social equity. The CAP positions the City to obtain grant funding for sustainable development programs such as affordable housing, transit-oriented development, multimodal transportation improvements, electric vehicle infrastructure, and urban forestry. With this plan in place, the City of Richmond is on its way to being a healthier, “greener” city for all of its residents.