CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (April 18, 2023) — As the changing climate increasingly impacts our lives, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has developed systems to improve local policies while making lasting changes to how the county conducts business.
The Sustainability Team is a division within the Contra Costa Conservation and Development Department. Sustainability is tasked with making our communities cleaner and healthier for families, children and future generations. To accomplish this, the team oversees the development of the county’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), staffs the Sustainability Commission (a citizen advisory group) and staffs the Board of Supervisors’ Sustainability Committee.
The Sustainability Team has a quarterly newsletter about the programs and initiatives the county is implementing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The newsletter also includes programs residents can participate in to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient. Check the Sustainability Resources page for information on rebates and incentives available for residents and businesses.
CAP is the county’s strategic approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from sources throughout the unincorporated areas in the county. It reflects the county’s programs and actions to decrease energy use, improve energy efficiency, develop renewable energy, reduce vehicle miles traveled, increase multi-modal travel options, expand green infrastructure, reduce waste and improve the efficiency of government operations.
The Board of Supervisors adopted the current CAP in 2015. They are updating it along with the county General Plan through Envision Contra Costa 2040, estimated to be completed in 2024. In the meantime, the Sustainability Team has developed Interim Work Plans that outline the actions the county undertook in 2021 and 2022 to address climate change, and where it will focus in 2023 and 2024.
The interim plan outlines seven goals that aim to increase the effectiveness of climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. These goals are clean and efficient built environment, resilient communities and natural infrastructure, no-waste Contra Costa, reduce water use and increase drought resilience, a clean transportation network, climate equity and leadership.
The Sustainability Commission allows community members to provide input and suggestions to county staff and the Board of Supervisors on sustainability issues. Each supervisorial district has a voting representative and an alternate member. They provide input on CAP implementation, how to best engage county residents and businesses on sustainability, and how to ensure equity and fairness in the county’s sustainability efforts.
The Sustainability Commission meets 5-7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of every other month. These meetings are open to the public.
Supervisors John Gioia and Federal Glover sit on the board’s Sustainability Committee, which focuses on the implementation of the county’s CAP. They review the work from the Sustainability Team and the Sustainability Commission and make policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors to approve. Over the years, the recommendations have led to permanent improvements in our county and to the environment.
For more information, visit www.contracosta.ca.gov/6780/Sustainability.
Ken Carlson is Contra Costa County District IV supervisor. Email questions or comments to Carlson at SupervisorCarlson@bos.cccounty.us or call his office at 925-655-2350.