Sebastopol Adopts Climate Guidance Document
July 26, 2022, City News
Sebastopol Adopts Climate Guidance Document
Climate Action Framework will aid on the path to net-zero emissions
Sebastopol, Calif., July 26, 2022 – On Tuesday, July 19th, the Sebastopol City Council unanimously adopted a Climate Action Framework, a document that will guide the City as it works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate impacts such as drought and wildfires. The Framework provides an overview of Sebastopol’s climate progress so far and sets goals for additional action in six areas: transportation, sustainable land use, buildings and clean energy, consumption and waste, community, and City operations and leadership.
“This, to me, feels like such a natural addition to our bookshelf of documents that we lean on,” said Mayor Patrick Slayter. “I think this is a great document. I think this is something that other communities are going to look at and say that it’s easy to read, it’s easy to understand, it’s logical.”
The Framework has been developed over the past ten months through a community-centered process. Residents shared their climate concerns and priorities through a survey and public workshop, and at nearly two dozen tabling events, presentations, and public meetings. Community-identified priorities, such as active transportation, community education and engagement, and clean energy, are incorporated into the goals of the Framework.
The Climate Action Framework aims to help Sebastopol meet the goals of a Climate Emergency Resolution adopted in 2019, which included a 2030 carbon neutrality target. Reaching carbon neutrality will involve reducing emissions as much as possible while using the natural environment to absorb excess emissions. Sebastopol’s Climate Action Committee, established by the City Council in 2020, is tasked with carrying forward these climate efforts, including by overseeing the development of the Climate Action Framework. “I want to thank the Council for putting the money in last year’s budget so that we could have Phoebe engage in this work with our Climate Action Committee,” said Councilmember and Climate Action Committee member Sarah Gurney, in reference to the City’s CivicSpark Fellow who led the development of the Framework.
With the Framework finalized, Sebastopol’s Climate Action Committee will evaluate and prioritize additional emission-reduction and preparedness strategies to recommend to the City Council. An initial, living list of actions that the City could take to help meet its climate goals is included in Appendix A of the Framework. “I find it very impressive that the report includes recommendations that really create a very practical pathway for us,” said Councilmember Diana Rich, who also serves on the Climate Action Committee, regarding the potential actions in Appendix A. “This is a great roadmap.”
Councilmember Una Glass emphasized the need to continue to involve the community in climate efforts. “This is a really great way to start,” said Councilmember Glass. “It’s such a great framework and I think we need to move from here into engaging with the public about some of these kinds of issues and use this as a resource.” Community members are invited to participate in the evaluation of additional actions by providing public comment via email or by attending Climate Action Committee meetings, which occur the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 3:30pm via Zoom.
Community members, businesses, and groups can also participate in the City’s climate efforts by taking action to reduce their emissions and prepare for climate impacts. Suggestions on how to take action are distributed throughout the Framework document in blue “Take Action” boxes, with a companion online resource library in the works. A few simple changes include enrolling in Sonoma Clean Power’s EverGreen option to support local renewable energy and composting organic waste to help reduce emissions from landfills.
The Framework is available on the Climate Action Framework page. Comments or questions can be directed to ClimateActionCommittee@cityofsebastopol.org. To receive email updates on climate action in Sebastopol, sign up for the City’s “Climate Issues” email list here.
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