BAAQMD 10-Point Climate Action Work Program

Adopted by BAAQMD Board on April 2, 2014

This 10-Point Climate Action Work Program represents the focus and direction of the Air District’s Climate Protection Program in 2014 and 2015. This Work Program reflects the Air District’s strength in playing a coordinating role for policy implementation at the federal, state, regional and local levels. The actions described below will serve as the Air District’s priorities for the next two years as it continues to work with many stakeholders to reduce the Bay Area’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

  1. Set GHG Reduction Goal – Set a goal to reduce GHG emissions in the Bay Area 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 to align the Air District with Executive Order S-3-05, and work with stakeholders to develop interim targets and performance objectives, including per capita targets, to support this goal.

  2. Update GHG Inventory and Forecasting – Update the Air District’s regional GHG emissions inventory for the Bay Area. Conduct GHG emissions forecasts for 2020, a mid-term year and 2050. Use input from stakeholders, including local governments, to develop different GHG emissions scenarios, which will lay a foundation for the development of the Regional Climate Action Strategy described below. Seek to incorporate effects of federal, state (Scoping Plan), regional (Plan Bay Area and 2015 Clean Air Plan), and local (local climate action plans) initiatives. Identify gaps between forecast reductions from existing and proposed plans and measures, and the 2050 goal.

  3. Implement GHG Emissions Monitoring – Initiate local monitoring of certain greenhouse gases, including methane and carbon dioxide. The Air District will integrate monitoring of methane within its current air monitoring network. The Air District will work with UC Berkeley researchers to collect local CO2 emissions data through a university-led network of local CO2 monitoring stations. Data collected will help develop a better understanding of ambient concentrations, variability and trends over time, as well as provide more specific local data for the regional GHG inventory.

  4. Develop Regional Climate Action Strategy – Identify policy gaps between the 2050 GHG goal and interim GHG reduction targets and local climate action plans, Plan Bay Area, federal and state regulations and programs, and policies where the Air District has authority or influence to control GHG emissions. These potential Air District actions could be included in the 2015 Clean Air Plan and serve as a Regional Climate Action Strategy. The Strategy will encourage regional and local economic approaches that support the 2050 goal and interim targets of this Work Program. Conduct an economic and public health impacts study of the Strategy, including a focus on disadvantaged communities. Continue to work with the Joint Policy Committee and its member agencies to support regional planning efforts to reduce GHG emissions and benefit public health. Conduct a robust public outreach effort, as part of the 2015 Clean Air Plan process, including work with local researchers, representatives of affected industry, commercial interests, governing bodies, environmental organizations and community groups to engage them in discussion about the need, and path forward, for significant GHG reductions.

  5. Support and Enhance Local Action – Increase the local implementation of GHG-reducing policies and programs through enhanced technical assistance to cities and counties and special districts in preparing and implementing local Climate Action Plans. Expand technical assistance to local governments through development of incentive programs, CEQA mechanisms and providing necessary data:

    • Support local climate action planning through data delivery, technical tools, providing a clearinghouse of information and promoting best practices;

    • Promote EV readiness and best practices in local plans;

    • Explore funding sources for incentives to improve energy efficiency, including work with ARB to potentially use Cap and Trade auction proceeds, and working with other potential sources of funding to increase investment in local and regional GHG reduction;

    • Update CEQA thresholds for GHGs and update CEQA Guidelines to assist cities, counties and other lead agencies;

    • Work with lead agencies to use the CAPCOA GHG Exchange for offsite mitigation under CEQA (e.g., work with organizations such as the Marin Carbon Project to develop protocols for GHG reduction credits); develop offset protocols that support GHG reduction projects in the Bay Area;

    • Work with GHG emissions data providers to provide regular and consistent data to local governments;

  6. Initiate Rule Development – Initiate rule development to advance GHG reduction in sources subject to Air District regulatory authority, and identify opportunities to require GHG emission reductions in existing rules and policies. Examples may include:

    • Integrate GHG emission reduction into the Air District’s permitting program to facilitate GHG emission reductions consistent with California’s Cap and Trade program and other federal and state provisions;

    • Reduce methane emissions and other short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon;

    • Enhance and/or backstop upcoming federal requirements to control GHG emissions from new and existing power plants;

    • Increase deployment of heat mitigating technologies and policies, such as cool roofing and cool paving;

    • Explore opportunities to reduce energy use in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors;

    • Work with stakeholder groups to identify additional opportunities to reduce GHG emissions through Air District rule-making.

  7. Expand Enforcement – Expand enforcement of statewide regulations to reduce GHGs, especially short-term climate pollutants. Continue working with the Air Resources Board (ARB) to enforce existing Scoping Plan regulations addressing landfills, semiconductors and refrigerants. Work with ARB to explore further opportunities through the development of the Scoping Plan Update.

  8. Launch Climate Change & Public Health Impacts Initiative – Collect and synthesize information, reports and data on climate change impacts related to air quality, public health and disproportionate impacts. Work with state and local public health professionals to identify policies and programs targeting impacts that affect air quality and public health, including wildfires and extreme heat. Include impacts associated with black carbon emissions. Identify strategies and funding opportunities to assist the most vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities.

  9. Report Progress to the Public – Select indicators to measure, track and report on progress toward the 2050 goal and related performance objectives. Report this information publicly, presented in a manner that informs and engages the public, such as Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan Results web page.

  10. Explore the Bay Area’s Energy Future – Assign the Air District’s Advisory Council the role of investigating technical issues related to the Air District’s Climate Protection Program. Initially focus on the energy future of the Bay Area, including examining trends in Bay Area fossil fuel demand and production, and exploring opportunities for the Air District to promote and support the development of clean energy options.