What the City Has Done
Chico is the largest city in Butte County, with approximately 87,000 people living within the city limits and about 100,000 residing in the Chico urban area. Recognizing the impact of its GHG emissions on the northern portion of the Sacramento Valley, the City of Chico did not wait for state directives to address GHG emissions and climate change.
Following are some of the early steps the city has undertaken on its own accord.
Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement
In 2006, the City signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement (USCMCPA), adding Chico to a group of over 1,000 municipalities, 138 of which are in California, united in pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the USCMCPA, Chico committed to take the following three actions:
Formation of Sustainability Task Force
Signing the Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement precipitated the creation of the Sustainability Task Force (STF) in 2007. Members of the STF represent various sectors of the community to provide input to the City Council on sustainability issues. One of the primary tasks of the STF is to assist the City in meeting the objectives of the Mayor’s Agreement and to conduct preliminary steps to develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP).
In preparation for drafting the CAP, the STF formed the following Ad-Hoc Committees: Outreach & Education, Sustainable Business Outreach, Innovators’ Pilot Outreach, Transportation Planning, and Climate Change Adaptation & Resiliency. The STF designated these Committees to focus resources on the development and implementation of specific components of the CAP, and to represent and promote these components throughout the community. These committees are comprised of STF members, city staff, representatives of institutions and utilities, and members of the general public.
City Measures that Address GHG Emissions by New Development
New development and redevelopment must adhere to a number of City policy documents, building code requirements, development standards, design guidelines, and standard practices that collectively further the goals and, in some cases, directly implement specific actions in the CAP. Below is a list of those measures which are applied on a project-by-project basis, and which aid in implementing the CAP:
Adaptation Planning for the Chico Area
The State of California developed a plan for adapting to potential impacts of climate change entitled, 2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy. The Plan summarizes the best known science on climate change impacts in the state and outlines possible solutions that can be implemented within and across state agencies to promote resiliency
While it is important that the Chico community act quickly and boldly to reduce its contributions to GHG emissions, it is also necessary to simultaneously prepare for adaptation to regional changes that may result from climate change. Adaptation in this context means making long-term adjustments to maintain a level of community well-being, economic prosperity, and environmental quality in the face of changing circumstances. Effective adaptation will require local action that complements state initiatives, and early planning will significantly lessen the negative effects and costs of adaptation
To plan for the potential impacts of climate change, the Sustainability Task Force’s Adaptation and Resiliency Ad-Hoc Committee will developed a work plan consisting of three primary tasks
The above language was taken from the City of Chico 2020 Climate Action Plan.