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California Climate Action Network Progress Report

Cities and counties throughout California are responding locally to the challenge of climate change. To tackle the causes -- and consequences -- of global warming, California has set ambitious goals to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, requires the state to return to 1990 GHG emissions levels by 2020. Governor Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order S-03-05 sets the even more ambitious goal of reducing GHGs to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Updated Best Practices Framework Now Available

Cities and counties have already taken wide-ranging actions to reduce GHG emissions. In May 2008, the Institute for Local Government (ILG) released a new version of the California Climate Action Network (CCAN) Best Practices Frame work. Version 5.0 of the framework represents months of review and input from city and county officials, state agency experts, and nonprofit and business experts who participated in its development.

The framework provides a broad selection of program and policy options for local agencies interested in assuming a leadership role with respect to climate change (see "Climate Leadership Opportunity Areas" at right). Options include relatively simple actions, such as conducting energy audits in agency facilities and replacing lights and inefficient motors to reduce energy usage (and save money). The framework also offers more programmatic options, like adopting a green building ordinance and considering adaptation to climate change as part of new development planning and review.

Local agencies can embrace framework op tions immediately as stand-alone activities or as part of a larger climate change action plan. The options also reflect the diversity of local conditions, providing flexibility to select those actions that make the most sense for individual communities.

The framework is available online at www.ca-ilg.org/climatepractices as part of CCAN’s climate change resources.

Recognition Program Nears Completion

To highlight local leadership and achievement in reducing GHG emissions, ILG is developing a program to recognize local voluntary climate action leadership that demonstrates measurable reductions in GHG emissions and energy use in agency facilities and the community. Cities and counties have welcomed this concept as a way of acknowledging innovative and effective commitment to address climate change at the local level.

The last two steps in the program’s devel opment, currently under way, are identify ing the best program and award level names and selecting the right energy and GHG emission reduction numbers for the three achievement levels. Fundraising to support the program will continue, with a goal of officially launching the recognition program in fall 2008 after funding has been secured.

For more information about CCAN, visit www.ca-ilg.org/climatechange or call (916) 658-8208.