Sonoma County Community Climate Action Plan

Reduce GHG emissions by 25 percent (1990 levels) by 2015!

Since 1990, green house gas emissions have continued to rise and in order to meet our goal of a 25 percent reduction (below 1990 levels) we must reduce emissions by 37 percent or 1.4 million tons.

Plans 4 main solutions;

1. Efficiency First: Invest in widespread energy and water efficiency to reduce demand.
2. Smart Transit and Land Use: Shift transportantion from fossil fuel vehicles to transit, walking, bicycling, and electric vehicles.
3. Power up locally: Invest in Sonoma County renewable ener
gy sources and jobs.
4. Conserve and Capture: Protect our forests and farmland, sequestor carbon, and convert waste into energy.

If you would like to view the entire plan or a summary go to www.coolplan.org

This is a great plan and is totally obtainable! Everyone needs to hear about this plan, so spread the word! The Board of Supervisors need to hear about your support of the SCCCAP, write them a letter!


Water and Climate

CCWI’s Water and Climate Project provides education and outreach on how climate will affect California water supply, along with easy ways to reduce ghg emissions focused on water use, and efficiency.

What can you do about climate change?

1) Educate yourself about the issue.
2) Make individual choices
3) Talk to people, form a group, join a group, lobby for change!
4) Big Picture Solutions

check out this article from the Sacramento Bee on how the bay area is responding to climate change

California bulks up defenses against tide of global warming
By Chris Bowman
Published: Monday, Nov. 24, 2008 | Page 1A

California is building a second line of defense against global warming, one that will prepare the state for a harsher environment while the other continues to cut climate-changing emissions.

The two-front approach acknowledges that rising sea levels, bigger floods, greater loss of species and other harsh effects of warming are inevitable, if not already occurring – no matter the state's success in slashing greenhouse gases.

Unlike the pioneering save-the-planet mandates to tighten automobile exhaust limits and renewable energy standards, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is not loudly trumpeting these defense moves:

• The state Transportation Department is proposing to move a 3-mile stretch of ocean-hugging Highway 1 in Big Sur up to 475 feet inland, to keep ahead of the accelerating tidal rise and bluff erosion.

• State wildlife officials are deliberating plans for "triage," to decide which species should be saved from global warming and which can't be saved.

• The state's San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission is consulting with Dutch engineers and holding an international contest to create designs for flood- resilient buildings.

On Nov. 14, Schwarzenegger issued an executive order to identify the state's biggest vulnerabilities to rising sea levels and draft an "adaptation strategy." State, federal and local managers of transportation, public health, wildlife, water and power supplies are being tapped for this task, along with business and public-interest groups.

"It's saying we need to take action today," Anthony Brunello, the state deputy secretary for climate change, said of the governor's directive. "We need to figure out what we should be doing."

To that end, the National Academy of Sciences will be asked to convene an independent panel of experts. The executive order calls on scientists to forecast a range of likely scenarios along the coast through the end of the century. That panel would recommend ways to minimize damage to coastal roads, beaches, sewage and water treatment plants, wetlands and marine life.

Meanwhile, all state agencies are to immediately identify risks and account for them in planning their public works projects.

Climate change alters projects

Some major projects under way already account for climate change.

A 50-year, $1 billion effort to restore thousands of acres of former Cargill Inc. salt evaporation ponds to tidal marsh in San Francisco Bay will have levees to prevent flooding from rising seas anticipated with global warming.

"You will always have a viable and healthy estuary even as the waters rise," said Will Travis, executive director of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Likewise, state water planners are adding an extra foot of water depth in designs for a weir to control flows important to fish and drinking water quality in the south Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

"Hopefully, this will extend the life of the project," said John Andrews, executive manager for climate change at the state Department of Water Resources.

Extending the survival of certain plant and animal species threatened by rising temperatures will present scientific and ethical challenges, said Terry Root, a Stanford University biologist.

Root and other scientists are urging state and federal wildlife managers to categorize species according to their ability to withstand warming or migrate to more hospitable terrain. In some cases, she said, it may become necessary to move some species to save them.

"I didn't think I would ever have to say this in my life, but I do think we have to start prioritizing species," Root said in a September speech at the state's annual Climate Change Research Conference in Sacramento.

Root reluctantly calls such categorizing "triage."

"Do we save this species or do we let this species go?" she said. "It is not an easy thing to be working on. It's going to be exceedingly painful."

Change of direction; big cost

Some of the needed changes will be expensive.


1) Educate yourself about the issue.

Climate change is a very complex topic. The science and politics involved reach from the North Pole to the car you drive.

New- Go see "An Inconvenient Truth"- A documentary movie about climate change featuring Al Gore, who travels across America describing the threat of global warming and how to address it. The film starts the weekend of June 2nd and runs through June 8th at the Rialto theater in Santa Rosa. Visit the information table on opening weekend sponsored by the Climate Protection Campaign and CCWI. Community Clean Water Institute, the Climate Protection Campaign, the Sierra Club, and Solar Sebastopol will have a table in the lobby after the film, where you can learn more about what we are doing locally to reduce green house gas emissions and take action, including endorsing Sonoma's community target for greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 25% below 1990 levels by 2015. For more information, check www.climatecrisis.net.
For more information on local showings contact the Rialto Cinemas Lakeside 707-539-9771 at 551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa.

News: Katrina and Climate Change

Here are some links to find out more about climate change:
The Climate Protection Campaign's Climate 101 page
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability: Cities for Climate Protection
Union of Concerned Scientists: About Global Warming

2) Make individual choices

Here are a few effective consumer choices you can make to reduce your use of fossil fuels: 1) Buy a fuel efficient or hybrid car (the Toyota Prius gets ~50 mpg), 2) plant a native plant garden instead of a lawn and use low flow shower heads and toilets, 3) insulate your house better with double pane windows and buy Energy Star appliances, 4) donate money to groups like CCWI that work on this issue. OK, that was easy, now check out the Big Picture Solutions.

3) Talk to people, form a group, join a group, lobby for change!

In 2001, two concerned citizens (just like you) decided to get every city in Sonoma County to pass resolutions to quantify and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. You can do the same in your city and county. Once all the cities had passed the resolution, they approached the regional air quality district to include them in the regional effort. Citizens can be the wind driving the ship of government.

4) Big Picture Solutions

Climate change is a big problem, and here are some big picture solutions, including Contraction and Convergence, and Individual Emissions Entitlements. Click here.

CCWI's Water and Climate Program- Current projects:

Report (pdf file) to Air District on the overlap of air quality and climate protection.
CCWI is working (in partnership with the Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign) on a project for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to study the overlap of air quality and climate protection. This is the first time an Air District in California is directly looking at becoming involved in the issue of climate change. A press release announcing the project is here.

Big Picture Solutions: Climate change is a big problem so let's think big.

About Water and Climate Change: Global climate change is one of the greatest threats to water resources and ecosystems over the next century. Climate change is expected to impact U.S. water resources and water availability in the western United States, including the following: decreased snowfall and snowmelt, a major source of drinking water for much of California; rising sea levels threatening coastal aquifers and water supplies; increases in lake and stream temperatures threatening fish, water species, and critical habitats such as wetlands.

Although the U.S. population represents approximately 5 percent of the world’s total, it accounts for over 25 percent of the emissions that cause global climate change.

Over the past 3 years, CCWI's work in promoting climate protection at the local level has resulted in:
- All 9 cities and the County of Sonoma pledging by resolution to quantify and reduce their GHGs by joining ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection Program (R). CCWI staff has also promoted this program to neighboring cities in Marin County.

- CCWI's intern Jennifer Fuller completed a report on energy efficiency at wastewater treatment plants. This report "Energy efficiency in the City of Fortuna's wastewater treatment plant" was used in the design of the City of Fortuna's new wastewater treatment plant and analyzes the feasibility of incorporating energy efficiency into the upgrade of the City of Fortuna's Wastewater Treatment plant, including an analysis of the City of Santa Rosa's energy efficiency upgrades.

- CCWI's recognition as a finalist in the World Water Action Contest for working on innovative local solutions to global problems. As a finalist, CCWI attended the World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan on March 16-23, 2003 and gave a presentation to a panel of international water experts, regarding the impacts of water use and wastewater treatment in Sonoma County on climate change and presented a poster on Water and Climate. Click here for photos from Japan.

-A Watergy workshop for Sonoma and Marin water agency staff, municipalities, elected officials and board members on November 12, 2003. The workshop was cosponsored by Marin Municipal Water District, Sonoma County Water Agency, City of Santa Rosa Public Utilities Department, The Alliance to Save Energy, and the Climate Protection Campaign. Over 30 staff and board members of local water agencies heard about the ideas of the Watergy Program of the Alliance to Save Energy, based in Washington, DC.

-A decision by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to study the overlap of air quality and climate protection, the first time a California Air District has looked directly at the issue of climate change.
After CCWI's 3 years of local advocacy, the Air District created a new Climate Change Program on June 1, 2005.

-CCWI co-hosted "The Green Room Event" in March 2005 with 30 elected officials from the North Bay. CCWI moderated a discussion of water and energy issues and ways to network and collaborate, with an appearance by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

CCWI works with the Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign to promote smart water policies to elected officials, schools, businesses, and others. CCWI has been encouraging water treatment plants to incorporate energy efficiency into their operations.

Background on Sonoma County Climate Protection Efforts:

Local governments in Sonoma County set a national precedent in 2002 when Sonoma County and all nine of its cities pledged by resolution to quantify and reduce the ghg emissions resulting from their operations. The County adopted a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from the year 2000 to 2010, (the target set by the Kyoto Protocol, which has not been ratified by the U.S. government, is to reduce emissions by 7 percent from 1990 levels).

According to the City of Santa Rosa’s GHG emissions inventory, emissions have increased by 11 percent over the past nine years. When emissions from the Laguna Wastewater Treatment Plant are added in, the increase jumps to 40 percent. Energy use around water was described by City Councilmember Jane Bender as the City’s largest user of energy. The City is installing new efficient air blowers at the plant, estimated to use 50 percent less energy than the current blowers, reduce over 2,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, and save more than $400,000 per year.

CCWI's work to assist cities and counties to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions has resulted in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's decision to study the overlap of air quality and climate protection. This is the first time an Air District in California is directly looking at becoming involved in the issue of climate change.

The 8 city GHG report is available at the Climate Protection Campaign website.
It contains an important section on Water and Wastewater (see below).

"The most important implication...is that peak supply of water and peak use of PG&E electricity coincide with the PG&E's highest rates in summer - the calculated energy cost of water delivery in summer is $314/MG, while the winter cost is only $127/MG - in other words, landscape irrigation is very costly."
From Sonoma County's 8 city Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory- available at www.skymetrics.us This graph shows the Sonoma County Water Agency's energy and water use. Peaks are the summer months, valleys are the winter.

Using the analysis in this report the Sonoma County Water Agency can focus its conservation efforts at the peaks of the graph, where water delivery is most expensive and also carries the greatest environmental impact.

A timeline of climate protection advocacy in the North Bay:

In September 2001, Mike Sandler and Ann Hancock discussed ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection (R) Program at a Rio+10/Local Agenda 21 Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ann had worked on the Ecological Footprint, but was beginning to feel that CO2 was the ultimate ecological indicator. Mike was certain that his hometown, Sebastopol, would join Cities for Climate Protection. The Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign was born.

From September 2001 to July 2002, CCWI worked alongside the Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign to introduce ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection to local jurisdictions in Sonoma County. The first few meetings were with Sebastopol Councilmember Sam Spooner, County Public Works Director Ken Wells, Santa Rosa Councilmember Jane Bender, Petaluma Councilmember Pam Torliatt, and Supervisor Tim Smith. After approximately 30 meetings, the program gained momentum, and City Managers and others began to discuss how this program could be implemented throughout Sonoma County.

In January 2002, newly hired CCWI Program Coordinator Mike Sandler began approaching decision makers regarding encouraging the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to assist local jurisdictions in implementing their climate protection goals. In May 2002, Mike Sandler and Ann Hancock attended a meeting with all the Mayors in Sonoma County and described the idea of including the Air District in the climate protection program.

In September 2002 the Sonoma County Mayors' and Council members' Association sent a letter to the Chair of the Board of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District encouraging the district to support climate protection.

- Santa Rosa passed a resolution to quantify and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions following ICLEI's milestones on December 4, 2001.
- Sebastopol passed a resolution on January 15, 2002.
- Petaluma issued a proclamation in March 2002, and passed a resolution on August 5, 2002.
- Cotati passed a resolution on April 10, 2002.
- The City of Sonoma passed a resolution on May 1, 2002.
- Windsor passed a resolution on June 5, 2002.
- Rohnert Park passed a resolution on June 11, 2002.
- Healdsburg passed a resolution on July 1, 2002.
- Cloverdale passed a resolution on July 24, 2002.
- Sonoma County passed a resolution on August 20, 2002.

By December 2002 The County of Sonoma and the City of Santa Rosa completed their GHG emissions inventories-Milestone One-for their internal operations. The County also set a target-Milestone Two-to reduce the emissions produced by its internal operations by 20% from 2000 to 2010.

February 2003, CCWI Program Coordinator Mike Sandler and Ann Hancock of the Climate Protection Campaign met with Air District Boardmembers Pam Torliatt and Tim Smith to discuss the Air District's involvement in Climate Protection.

March 16-23, 2003 CCWI Program Coordinator Mike Sandler attended the World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan and gave a presentation to a panel of international water experts, regarding the impacts of water use and wastewater treatment in Sonoma County on climate change and presented a poster on Water and Climate.

May 2003, CCWI Program Coordinator Mike Sandler and Ann Hancock of the Climate Protection Campaign attended an Air District Board meeting, and presented their plan.

In June 2003, the Air District Board approved a request for financial support of a two-part study comprised of a GHG inventory for all sectors of Sonoma County, and research regarding actions underway regionally and nationwide in which air quality and climate protection efforts are being integrated.

In September 2003 the remaining eight Sonoma cities completed inventories of the emissions produced by their internal operations. In doing so, Sonoma set a second national precedent when 100 percent of its municipalities completed their baseline emission inventories.

In 2004, CCWI and the Climate Protection Campaign began work on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's study of the overlap of air quality and climate protection. This is the first time an Air District in California is directly looking at becoming involved in the issue of climate change.

In 2004, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, and Cotati set their emission reduction targets - Milestone Two - for their internal operations. All three cities' targets are the same as the County's except Sebastopol's which is 30% from 2000 by 2008.

On Wednesday June 1, 2005, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's board of directors established a climate protection program to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which district officials believe are causing the Earth's temperature to rise and increasing smog in the Bay Area.


Water + Energy = Watergy. When you use less water, you also use less energy.
"Watergy" (website www.watergy.org) is a program of the Alliance to Save Energy, based in Washington, DC.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report for 8 cities in Sonoma County is now available at www.skymetrics.us

The California Urban Water Conservation Council has a great list of Best Management Practices for water agencies.

The Sonoma County Water Agency's water conservation program.

Q: Why should you become an advocate for climate protection?
A: Climate Change May Threaten More Than One Million Species With Extinction

You've got problems, here's a solution: Author Richard Douthwaite's brilliant proposal to solve multiple problems: climate change, global inequality, Third World debt, oil dependence, and problems in the monetary system. The proposal involves Contraction and Convergence, and issuing Emissions Rights and an energy backed currency. Find out more. CCWI will be analyzing the concepts in this proposal on the Big Picture webpage. Stay tuned.

Direct any questions to info@ccwi.org.


  Letter to our friends