Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

Sustainability and Climate Action Plan

The City launched its Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) initiative in August 2014 to chart a path to a more sustainable future, find ways to improve our quality of life, grow prosperity, and create a thriving and resilient community – all while dramatically reducing our carbon footprint. Palo Alto is already a world leader in climate protection strategies. The S/CAP builds on that leadership – and our successes exceeding the goals of our 2007 climate plan – to create an ambitious plan that also considers broader issues of sustainability, such as land use and biological resources.

In coordination with ongoing efforts – including the Comprehensive Plan Update now underway – and with significant community input, the S/CAP clearly articulates the challenges facing our city, a vision for the future, and a set of cohesive strategies to realize that vision.

On April 18, 2016 the Palo Alto City Council unanimously approved the primary goal of the S/CAP - achieving an 80% reduction in Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) below 1990 levels by 2030. The April 2016 Sustainability and Climate Action Plan draft can be found here (Staff Report 6754).

On November 28, 2016 the City Council unanimously adopted the S/CAP Framework - including its Guiding Principles, Decision Criteria, Design Principles, and key Goals and Strategies. This Framework will serve as the road map for achieving Palo Alto’s 80 x 30 GHG reduction goal, and for developing the Sustainability Implementation Plans (SIPs) which will guide us in the coming years. The draft November 2016 Sustainability and Climate Action Plan can be found here (Staff Report 7304).

Frequently Asked Questions about the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan can be found here.

A re-cap of the 2016 Sustainability & Climate Action Plan Summit can be found here.

Sustainability Implementation Plans

City of Palo Alto staff have formed seven inter-departmental teams to develop Sustainability Implementation Plans (SIPs) covering key S/CAP sections: Mobility, Efficiency and Electrification, Water Management, Zero Waste & Circular Economy, Municipal Operations, Climate Adaptation & Resilience, and Regeneration & Natural Environment. SIPs for the other S/CAP chapters - Community Behavior, Culture, and Innovation; Utility of the Future; and Financing Strategies - will be developed in future work phases.

In the coming months, staff will refine the SIPs, integrate community input, and bring the SIPs for review and adoption by the City Council. These SIPs - focused on the 2020 time frame - will include prioritized actions needed to accomplish S/CAP goals.

Last Updated: Mar 9, 2017