Chapter One:
2005-2010: Context for Chico’s Climate Action Plan

Chico aerial photo

The City of Chico’s 2020 Climate Action Plan outlines strategies, organized within a flexible ten-year framework, for a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that are directly and indirectly generated by local activities. The Plan includes actions to reduce energy, water, and fuel consumption and to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill.

While Chico plays a very small role in the global problem of climate change, the City of Chico is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a part of its sustainability efforts. The Chico 2030 General Plan states this goal, and in support, calls for implementation of a Climate Action Plan (CAP or Plan). The State of California has set ambitious goals to combat climate change by lowering GHG emissions. Local governments are following suit by taking the initiative to reduce locally-generated greenhouse gas emissions. Local governments like the City of Chico have influence and, in some cases, exclusive authority over activities that contribute to direct and indirect GHG emissions through their planning and permitting processes, local ordinances, outreach and education efforts, and municipal operations.

The purpose of the Climate Action Plan is to provide the means for Chico to meet its GHG reduction goal of 25% below 2005 emission levels by the end of 2020. The CAP lists, and estimates GHG emission reductions for, actions that will directly or indirectly reduce emissions from local activities. It distinguishes between actions that can be taken by the City and those that require action by the local community. To meet the 2020 goal, the Plan divides actions into two phases, with the first phase ending in 2015. Full implementation of the Plan is intended to significantly reduce GHG emissions as well as yield economic and other benefits, such as cleaner air, reduced traffic, less dependence on fossil fuels, improved quality of life, and greater resilience to the affects of climate change.