Sustainability and Climate Action Plan Development 2014 - 2016

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(PDF, 7MB) – 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 – 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. It provides Guiding Principles, Design Principles, and Design Criteria(PDF, 206KB) to assist Staff in developing and refining near term strategies that support the City’s long-term vision and goals.

In 2017, City of Palo Alto staff formed seven inter-departmental teams to develop Sustainability Implementation Plans (SIPs) covering key S/CAP sections: Mobility, Energy, Water, Zero Waste & Circular Economy, Municipal Operations, Climate Adaptation & Resilience, and Regeneration & Natural Environment. All seven teams are currently working on sustainability related projects, but the focus for the 2018 – 2020 SIP is on four key areas: Mobility, Energy, Water, and Electric Vehicles (a newly formed working group). 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.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan can be found on our S/CAP Frequently Asked Questions page. A re-cap of the 2016 Sustainability & Climate Action Plan Summit can be found on our Sustainability & Climate Action Plan Summit page.