From Santa Barbara to Santa Cruz, Climate Action Plans in Our Communities
The science is clear: in order to mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis, we must rapidly reduce our carbon footprint. Thankfully, profitable technology and proven policy can accomplish this right now. So why aren’t more communities jumping on board? What’s missing is political will.
The best solutions to global climate change are emerging at the local level. New York, Los Angeles, and other cities recently adopted Climate Action Plans (CAPs) that will virtually eliminate their carbon footprints. San Luis Obispo has committed to carbon neutrality by 2035 — one of the most ambitious municipal goals in the nation. In all of these places, a strong and mobilized grassroots compelled city leaders to take bold action.
Right now, we have the unprecedented opportunity to create a Carbon-Free Central Coast. For several months, we’ve been working with key partners at Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, SLO Climate Coalition, Community Environmental Council, Ecology Action, and Central Coast Climate CoLab to inspire Central Coast elected officials to follow San Luis Obispo’s lead.
Deep community engagement will inspire them to adopt bold CAPs prioritizing equity and environmental justice. We’ve primed Salinas and Watsonville to move forward, and in Santa Cruz, both the city and county have declared a climate emergency. Other Salinas Valley agricultural communities could become the nation’s first to adopt CAPs inclusive of sustainable land management practices and carbon sequestration.
We're alive at an exciting moment when regional climate action can have a big impact worldwide. The participation of people like you can bring this exciting vision to fruition. Only by working together can we create a first-of-its-kind regional sustainability template for cities and rural areas around the nation to follow.