On September 22, 2020, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors (Board) declared a climate emergency that “threatens the long-term economic and social well-being, health, safety, and security of the County, and that urgent action by all levels of government is needed to immediately address this climate emergency.“ Among other actions, the Climate Emergency Resolution adopted by the Board resolves that the County establish an interdepartmental task force that will “focus on urgently implementing the County’s Climate Action Plan” and identify additional actions, policies, and programs the County can undertake to reduce and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.
The task force is directed to report to the Board as a discussion item on a semi-annual basis starting in March 2021.
The Department of Conservation and Development (DCD), working in partnership with the Department of Public Works (Public Works), is staffing the work of this Interdepartmental Climate Action Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force has met twice to develop the initial report (attached). The report recommends three immediate actions by the Board:
(1) Support continuation of County services and meetings online where possible after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted to the extent departments determine such services to be beneficial and have the capacity to continue offering them;
(2) Establish a Sustainability Fund that is supported by an annual investment and/or is structured as a revolving fund that reinvests cost saving in additional improvements. This fund would support improvements to County facilities and operations (i.e., recycling, composting and purchasing practices) that reduce greenhouse emissions and reduce energy costs over time. If the Board is supportive, staff will report back to the Board with recommendations on details for the fund, including potential amounts, funding sources and approaches on how to structure the fund, based on best practices from other jurisdictions with similar funds; and
(3) Advocate with the State that virtual advisory body meetings be permitted to continue after shelter-in-place orders are lifted.
The report also identifies additional opportunities for the Task Force and County departments to pursue going forward, with direction from the Board.
Failure to receive the report and provide direction would contradict the direction provided in the Climate Emergency Resolution.