The State of California has some of the most aggressive benchmarks in the country to reduce harmful climate emissions over the next decade. California achieved its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction target ahead of schedule, while increasing the state’s economy ahead of the national average, showing that climate smart policies can be both good for the economy and environment. Currently, California’s long-term goal is to become carbon neutral by 2045. Given the acceleration of climate impacts locally and across the globe, there are calls for the state to expedite this goal and lead on the implementation of principles that make California more resilient to climate change, while creating jobs and transitioning to a clean energy economy.
The City of Irvine has taken several steps to identify climate impacts, and begin preparing for a climate resilient future, by completing a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and a Strategic Energy Plan. The City of Irvine also led the formation of the first Community Choice Energy initiative in Orange County in an effort to give consumers clean energy choices, and reduce GHG emissions.
Recognizing the climate impacts of drought, extreme heat, and wildfires already being felt in Irvine and the Southern California region, the community and the City Council requested the development of a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) for Irvine.
On June 9, 2021, the City's Green Ribbon Environmental Committee supported City staff's recommendation to award a professional services contract to Ascent Environmental to work on the CAAP for Irvine. On June 22, 2021, the City Council directed staff to award the contract, and begin the climate process for the community.
Some key goals of the CAAP are to:
- Guide the City on the implementation of measurable actions to meet or exceed the State’s GHG reduction targets and climate neutrality goal;
- Recommend adaptation measures that build resilience to current and future climate threats; and
- Emphasize climate goals for the community, establishing an aspirational, yet achievable path that provides options to realize aggressive emission reduction targets by 2030, 2035, and 2045.
To learn more about this exciting endeavor, and find out how you can participate in the climate planning process, please contact the City's Environmental Programs Division at: firstname.lastname@example.org.