|At the December 17, 2019 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board received public comment regarding a climate emergency resolution being drafted by community advocates. Members of a volunteer coalition asked the Board to consider an emergency resolution to spur immediate action on climate issues that affect the environment, public health and disadvantaged communities. Following public comment, the Board asked staff to work with the community advocates to bring the draft resolution (Attachment A) back at a future Board meeting for consideration.
This coalition of Yolo County residents formed after the Climate Strike marches in September 2019. The group’s mission is to establish a partnership between the County and its city governments, tribes, businesses and farmers to achieve a common set of aggressive, county-wide climate change mitigation and adaption goals. They are conducting outreach to various sectors of the community and inviting participation in, and support of their efforts.
In February, staff met with representatives of the volunteer coalition to not only provide feedback on their draft resolution declaring a climate emergency but also identify where there are similarities and duplication with the County's upcoming Sustainability Plan. Happening in parallel to this effort is the County’s contract with Ascent Environmental, Inc. to create a Sustainability Plan that incorporates public engagement to identify gaps, inconsistencies and opportunities for Yolo to become a more sustainable community. However, this plan is not expected to be finalized until December 2020. Therefore, while there are similarities between the goals of the County’s Sustainability Plan and the resolution, the intent of the resolution is to create a greater sense of urgency on climate action.
It’s important to note that the County continues to be a participant in the Yolo Climate Compact, and Yolo Resiliency Collaborative. The Yolo Climate Compact includes representatives from each of the four cities within the County as well as representatives from the Yolo-Solano Air Quality District. This group meets every other month to share progress, and knowledge on climate related activities within their jurisdiction. The group regularly has guest speakers, including sustainability managers from other counties, CivicSpark Fellows, and environmental businesses and non-profit groups. The Yolo Resiliency Collaborative is an ad-hoc staff based organization with membership from jurisdictions across the County. This group focuses on resiliency planning and implementation within communities and most recently some of the Collaborative’s members agreed to jointly use Ascent Environmental to develop performance metrics to allow a county wide analysis.
Currently, the cities of Davis, Winters and Woodland, are working jointly with the County to create a regional GHG inventory and an in-house calculator to be able to update the inventory with internal staff in the future. All three cities also have a CivicSpark Fellow to help with various aspects of each jurisdiction’s climate action plan, including, developing progress metrics, and outreach and education. The City of West Sacramento is a participant in the Mayors' Commission on Climate Change to develop a common vision and set of strategies for achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions (along with the City of Sacramento) by 2045.
The City of Davis is currently the only member of these collaborative groups to have adopted an emergency resolution. It is provided as Attachment B to this staff report for comparative purposes.
Key areas of commonality between the Sustainability Plan process and the draft emergency resolution are noted in the table below.
||Proposed Climate Resolution
||• Will conduct critical review of existing plans, and engage public to identify gaps, inconsistencies and opportunities to reduce GHG emissions and increase sustainable practices throughout the County.
||• Countywide mobilization to reverse contributions to climate change
• Create an advisory body comprised of County residents
• Reduce GHG emissions, sequester carbon and increase climate adaptation and resilience.
||County participates in the Yolo Climate Compact, Yolo Resiliency Collaborative and Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative. These groups include representatives from the cities of Woodland, Winters, West Sacramento, Davis, and Sacramento as well as the Yolo-Solano Air Quality District and other environmental business, non-profits and agencies.
|Resolution would create an Advisory Body (members of the public, and County and City staff) that would work with already-existing climate collaboratives within Yolo County.
||The first task in the Sustainability Plan project scope is to develop a community engagement plan.
||New Advisory Body would seek local funding to increase public awareness and engagement in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
||Through the community engagement process, the Sustainability Plan will develop a list of actions that can be prioritized by their impact on reducing GHG emissions. These findings can inform County policy and goals moving forward.
||Resolution seeks to declare an emergency and request regional, state and federal regulatory and financial assistance. This triggers formal emergency protocols with the State of California (Att. C.).
Due to the areas of duplication between the already launched Sustainability Plan effort and the draft emergency resolution, staff does not recommend adopting the emergency resolution in its present form. Instead, staff presents four options for the Board’s consideration:
Option 1: Staff recommends that the Board direct staff to draft a policy statement for Board consideration that builds upon the sense of urgency within the attached draft resolution but does so in a way that aligns with and supports the current Sustainability Plan. This policy statement could then inform not only the Sustainability Plan, but also future legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts. This resolution would communicate the urgent need to address climate change but stop short of activating local and state emergency protocols which can be bureaucratically burdensome and are unlikely to result in State approval.
Option 2: The Board may choose to provide feedback to the advocacy group that could inform a second draft of the resolution for Board consideration. Staff would bring this amended version back to the Board for consideration once complete.
Option 3: The Board could simply take no action. The County's Sustainability Plan efforts would still continue under this option.
Option 4: The Board could adopt the draft resolution in its present form or as amended by the Board as part of a motion.