With an economy long dependent on heavy industry and a location along San Francisco Bay, the City of Richmond committed to reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and adapting to the emerging hazards presented by climate change.
The ESA team helped the City realize its vision of approaching climate action planning through a community benefits framework. We're now in a stronger position to pursue funding from state and regional grant programs because we can demonstrate that implementation of our Climate Action Plan reduces greenhouse gas emissions while also advancing key goals related to health equity and growing the local green economy.
Unanimously approved by the Richmond City Council in October 2016, the Climate Action Plan (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 secure grant funding for sustainable development programs such as affordable housing, transit-oriented development, multimodal transportation improvements, electric vehicle infrastructure, and urban forestry.
ESA helped the City develop a comprehensive 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 Health in All Policies (HiAP) strategy, which aims to bring health, well-being, and equity considerations into all City policies, programs, and services.
Leveraging community input and cross-sector collaboration to prioritize outcomes with the most community benefits, the CAP required 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 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.
ESA’s leadership role helped sythesize multiple planning efforts into a coherent plan that has strong support by a diverse and engaged community. The Richmond CAP is proving to be a valuable asset in helping the City win competitive grant pursuits, including a $1.5 million Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC), a $250,000 Transformative Climate Community (TCC) grant from the Strategic Growth Council, and a $250,000 food waste diversion grant from CalRecycle.
An interview with Richard Sinkoff, Director of Environmental Programs and Planning, Port of Oakland, on the value of working with stakeholders to achieve a healthier environment.
Across the spectrum of climate hazards the impacts of climate change will fall hardest on those who are historically over-burdened and most susceptible, including the elderly, infants and children; people and communities of color; and people living in poverty.