As a member of the City of Santa Cruz Climate Action Task Force that has supported this process for two years, we are excited to share that the draft Community-wide Climate Action Plan 2030 is fresh out of the oven! The plan not only charts a course for the city to meet the state mandated target of 40% reductions of 1990 levels by 2030, but sets an aspirational target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035 and identifies some of the pathways to get there. You are invited to dive into the plan and provide your feedback online or visit the London Nelson Center or the Downtown or Garfield Libraries for hard copies to review with comment cards by July 28, 2022!
The plan tackles city-wide emissions and includes a Green Economy element that charts the path to more jobs and economic well-being through climate response. We have been so impressed by how the process genuinely engaged the community and made deeper efforts to ensure marginalized community voices were centered in the process. Here’s a summary of that engagement directly from the plan itself:
“The Santa Cruz community lies at the center of this CAP and each stakeholder played an essential role in the development of the CAP policies. Community groups including the Climate Action Task Force (CATF), its equity advisors, and others shaped the measures and actions in this CAP by participating in virtual activities and in person. Input was also specifically solicited and gathered from frontline groups through regular in-person listening sessions and events. This included 3 visioning workshops that the City held with unsheltered groups, youth groups, and people residing in Beach Flats. In its entirety, the project consisted of 25 community events with 2,342 points of contact. Overall, engagement efforts were meant to promote equity– meaning that CAP efforts promoted community health, wealth and well-being for all groups, particularly frontline groups, and ensuring that no group is disproportionately impacted by CAP actions.
Community input covered a wide range of topics, from suggestions for GHG emissions reduction and climate adaptation to concerns regarding urgent environmental issues that the CAP should prioritize. The CATF also helped design engagement. This process intentionally and iteratively attempted to mitigate adverse costs and impacts to frontline groups. Themes that emerged from the outreach included the need to create a seamless and safe active transportation network; create a robust, decarbonized reliable public transportation system; establish more affordable, denser housing; promote food recovery and composting; and enhance regenerative landscapes while prioritizing measures with co-benefits. Therefore, the ambitious goals, measures, and actions within this CAP that advance equitable climate mitigation, climate restoration, and a climate economy were inspired, influenced, and informed by a diverse set of community voices. Additionally, climate economy measures were created in alignment with the City’s post-pandemic Interim Recovery Plan, and measures aiming to promote equity in the community were formed in alignment with the City’s Health in All Policies approach.”
We’re excited to see this plan finalized with community input and start the next chapter of impactful equitable climate action with the Santa Cruz community!
Visit www.cityofsantacruz.com/climateactionplan and provide your feedback by July 28, 2022!