Marin County, CA Resolution on Climate Protection

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Marin County, CA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted in April 2002

Source File:


During Earth Week of 2002, the Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution that recognizes both the gravity of global warming and the responsibility for local action. The resolution commits the County to the following activities:

1. Analyze greenhouse gas emission levels.
Determine current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and forecast the growth in emissions that will occur without preventative action.

2. Set a reduction target.
Marin County has set a goal to reduce GHG emissions 15-20% below 1990 levels by the year 2020 for internal government and 15% countywide.

3. Develop a local action plan.
This plan is a description of policies, programs, and measures that Marin will implement in order to meet its target.

4. Implement the local action plan.
Follow through on the proposed actions.

5. Monitor the progress and report results.
Determine the success of the plan.

As a result of analyzing emissions from internal government operations as well as from the County as a whole, a target has been made to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15% - 20% below 1990 levels by the year 2020 for internal government and 15% countywide.

The County is a partner in the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, which is a program administered by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). To date, 500 local governments worldwide participate in the Campaign, including over 140 cities and counties in the United States (27 of which are located in California). ICLEI and the CCP network of local governments provide a wealth of resources for participating cities and counties to use as they move through the Milestone Process.

Measures that have already been implemented in Marin to reduce emissions

Internal: The County has taken many steps to reduce energy and water use and waste generation, where possible. Actions such as purchasing hybrids, retrofitting facilities for energy efficiency, lighting retrofits, providing commuter alternatives for employees and switching incandescent traffic signals to light emitting diodes (LEDs) have all helped the County reduce internal operation emissions by at least 4% over baseline levels.

Countywide: Recycling programs (71% diversion rate, highest in the state), energy rebate programs (32 rebates where given to unincorporated Marin residents that purchased PV systems, in addition to the state CEC rebate), the Green Business Program, renewable energy purchases and alternative fuel vehicles have all contributed to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions.

More on Climate Change
Mounting scientific and economic information suggests that global climate change is a result of escalating greenhouse gas emissions and that immediate action to reduce these emissions should be taken to reduce its negative environmental, social and economic impacts.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international scientific body assembled by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization, determined that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate."

In 1997, twenty-five hundred United States economists, including eight Nobel laureates, published a statement stating that economic research supports the following conclusions:

  • Global climate change carries with it significant environmental, economic, social, and geopolitical risks.
  • Preventive steps are economically justified.
  • There are many potential policies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions for which the total benefits outweigh the total costs.
  • For the United States in particular, there are policy options that would slow climate change without harming American living standards.
  • These measures may in fact improve U.S. productivity in the longer run.