The Beacon Program currently supports more than 160 local
agencies across California that are implementing
effective climate action practices that are improving the quality
of life in their communities. Small and large, urban and
suburban, these agencies are truly models of leadership at the
The City of Alameda has a plan to reach 50% reduction in GHG emissions below 2005 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions as soon as possible. The city has already accomplished many of their climate resilience, transportation, and energy efficiency goals.
The smallest county in California, the County of Alpine comprises just 723 square miles of land situated along the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The county continues its long history of slow growth and promotion of the wise use of its valuable mineral, timber, agricultural, water and energy resources.
“This Climate Action Plan includes general information about greenhouse gases and climate change, assumptions and data used to determine the 2005 inventory and baseline, the 2020 forecast under business as usual conditions, and the proposed reduction measures that will enable to Town to achieve the targeted reduction level, thereby doing its part to limit greenhouse gas emissions statewide that contribute to climate change.”
- Town of Apple Valley Climate Action Plan
The City of Arvin serves some of the poorest and most heavily polluted areas of Kern County. The 2013 Climate Action Plan outlines some goals for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation to reach its emission reduction goals. These include supplying 100% of Arvin local government energy demand via renewable sources, increasing the energy efficiency of municipal buildings and facilities, replacing existing street lighting with high-efficiency LEDs, increasing the fuel efficiency of the city’s vehicle and transit fleet, and increasing the percentage of employees com
The City of Bakersfield is located near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. As the 9th largest California city, Bakersfield is an important hub for both agriculture and energy production. Bakersfield is exploring how to revitalize its downtown area, provide needed housing and improve air quality.
The City of Bell has made strides in addressing sustainability, including: completing a community GHG inventory, encouraging the community “Go Green” through web promotion and social media, updating the Land Use and Sustainability Element of the General Plan, and working towards completing a Climate Action Plan.
Committed to the Sustainable City Plan, the City of Beverly Hills
combats climate change by reducing greenhouse gas and other
emissions from city facilities, operations, and within the
community. To show its commitment, the City of Beverly Hills
continues to adopt policies, implement programs, and invest on
infrastructure improvements to mitigate climate change. The city
has undertaken several projects that range from retrofitting
lighting to upgrading HVAC and the citywide irrigation systems.
“As we were preparing the Brea Energy Efficiency and Solar Power Project the concept of “Green Life, Green Brea” evolved organically. How appropriate! Realizing that as impressive and far-reaching that one big project might be, particularly at that moment in time, there was still going to be more to accomplish later.” -Brea City Manager, Tim O’Donnell
The City of Capitola sits on the shores of the Pacific Ocean along Monterey Bay. Located just 35 miles southwest of San Jose and less than two hours’ drive from San Francisco, “Camp Capitola” began as a popular beachfront tourist destination. Today the City maintains those roots and has added a vibrant commercial district and several distinct residential neighborhoods. Nearly 10,000 people call Capitola home, and countless more visit to enjoy both its natural beauty and other attractions.
The City of Carpinteria has adopted a Sustainable Community
Policy that drives all sustainable planning efforts. Some
efforts that the city has undertaken include upgrading all
streetlights and parking lot lighting to LED, installing high
efficiency furnaces at the pool, and actively seeking alternative
transportation grants to improve pedestrian and bicycle
“Working with ICLEI and The Climate Registry, the Conservation Division coordinates implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan and monitors the City’s progress by performing annual emission inventories. Chula Vista was the first public agency in San Diego County to receive the “Climate Action Leader” designation from the California Climate Action Registry and the “Climate Registered” designation from The Climate Registry.” -City of Chula Vista
“As the City is nearly built-out, the focus of energy conservation in Citrus Heights is on retrofitting existing homes and businesses. The City continues to explore the use of grant funds and programs with SMUD and non-profit agencies to establish programs for home weatherization and solar retrofit. In cooperation with SMUD, PG&E, the California Energy Commission, and other public utilities, subject all municipal buildings to an energy audit and perform practicable energy conservation alterations on municipal buildings.” -City of Citrus Heights Website
“The vision [of the Claremont Sustainable City Plan] is one where all who live and work in Claremont are enabled to live in ways that allow them to meet their needs while preserving the ability of future generations to do the same. A sustainable Claremont is a community that balances social needs, environmental health and economic prosperity while not depleting or degrading its natural resources, creating social inequities, or limiting our prospects for continued economic prosperity.” Claremont Sustainable City Plan 2008
“City Council unanimously adopted a Adopted Climate Action Plan on May 8, 2013. The CAP contains programs that, when implemented, will meet Colma’s ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the community and Town operations by 15% below its 2005 emissions by 2020.
The City of Coronado is committed to climate action
activities. It has installed 14 EV charging stations
throughout the city, builds new construction to LEED
certification status, transitioned city leaf blowers and string
trimmers to zero-emission electric tools, and specializes in peak
travel and commuter trip reduction measures. In addition,
Coronado has a Safe Routes to School program and a Street Tree
“Cupertino has been a leader in environmental planning since 2005, as one of the first cities to incorporate a Sustainability Element within its General Plan. The city’s January 2015 adopted Climate Action Plan (CAP) reinforces the goals of this Element by coordinating with the city’s recent municipal projects and community-wide programs to conserve resources, while evolving the city’s approach to mitigate and adapt to climate change to ensure the wellbeing and longevity of the community.”
“We envision this climate action plan to be a living document… A sustainable energy future is a critical component of Daly City’s future. The following climate action plan is a tool designed to help Daly City protect the natural environment while continuing to foster economic growth, social diversity and a livable community.
“Davis can trace its sustainability roots back more than 40 years
to the date the community decided to establish the first bike
lanes in the United States. … With its early actions to
establish alternatives to automobile travel, energy conservation,
solar energy production, farmland and habitat protections,
inclusionary housing programs, and innovative land use policies,
Davis is well positioned to fight global warming and work toward
a more sustainable future.” – City of Davis website
Del Rey Oaks is a small city located on the Monterey Peninsula. Separated from the dunes and sandy beaches of Monterey Bay, the city enjoys a wooded setting and moderate climate. The city works in partnership with many local agencies to preserve its natural habitats and adopt climate friendly initiatives.
The City of Elk Grove’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) was approved by
the city council on February 27, 2019 as an update to the first
CAP completed in 2013. The CAP serves as a plan for the reduction
of GHGs consistent with state-recommended targets and serves as a
programmatic tiering document for the purposes of CEQA. It
outlines measures and actions to be undertaken as well as targets
to be achieved in reducing the city’s climate impact.
“Sustainable Foster City is a holistic and sustainable development strategy that seeks to protect, maintain and grow the economic resources in Foster City, protect its natural resources, and allow the community to pursue and enhance its quality of life. The strategy is based on the concepts of economic sustainability, social sustainability, and environmental sustainability, and represents a long-term plan that is continually monitored and updated in the future.
Grass Valley has already implemented programs that have resulted in or will lead to benefits in the form of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water efficiency. Summarized below are activities that the city has initiated to meet their resource and energy efficiency goals:
“Hayward’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) was adopted by the City Council on July 28, 2009. The purpose of the CAP is to make Hayward a more environmentally and socially sustainable community by reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions – the primary contributor to global warming, decreasing the community’s dependence on non-renewable resources, increasing Hayward’s potential for “green” economic development, and enhancing the health of all who live and work in Hayward” -City of Hayward website
The City of Jackson strives to lead-by-example to reduce emissions from energy use, transportation and solid waste.The city’s General Plan and Development Code encourage in-fill development and increased residential densities closer to the downtown. This places the majority of the city’s population near retail and services which helps to reduce automobile dependency. The city is working on obtaining funds for pedestrian projects which are intended to help those visiting to tour the city on foot.
“The City of La Mesa recognizes that local governments play a leading role in both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the potential impacts of climate change. Local governments can dramatically reduce emissions from their government operations through such measures as increasing energy efficiency in facilities and vehicle fleets, utilizing renewable energy sources, enacting sustainable purchasing policies, reducing waste, and supporting alternative modes of transportation for employees” City of La Mesa 2005 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
Mammoth Lakes is a rural resort town surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains. Its natural beauty and tourism economy makes it a popular destination town. The town is working to address climate impacts and affordable housing and was just awarded a $20 million Infill Infrastructure grant for its Plan the Parcel project.
“Manhattan Beach has a long history of environmental sensitivity and activism, as a community and as a city government. In the coming months and years we will be taking these efforts to new levels as the City Council has made sustainability a priority goal. Over half of this year’s City Council work plan relates to green issues, and there will be plenty of opportunity for our local businesses and residents to be involved in taking action to protect our environment.” – City of Manhattan Beach Going Green Website
Although the City of Maywood is yet to comprehensively address climate action goals, they have actively pursued climate protective policies in their purchasing and practices.
In 2017 and 2018, the city converted its entire parking enforcement, code enforcement, and building and planning inspection vehicle fleet from gas hybrids to all-electric Nissan Leafs. The city also supplements their vehicle battery charging capacity with an EV Arc Solar vehicle charger.
“Improving the health of our community and environment will lead to a sustainable society where the current needs are met and will ensure that this opportunity also exists for future generations so that they may live healthy, productive and comfortable lives.” – Sustainable Millbrae
“The Climate Action Plan (CAP) addresses climate change at the local level by focusing on the major sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the City and establishing a detailed long-term strategy to achieve GHG emissions reduction targets. Implementation of the CAP will guide actions to reduce the City’s contribution to climate change and will support State emission reduction targets. The CAP serves as the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) threshold of significance for climate change by which development will be reviewed.” – National City Climate Action Plan<
Since 2010, Nevada County residents and businesses have saved 13,034,571 kWh of electricity and 163,282 therms of natural gas annually from PG&E energy efficiency programs including Nevada City and Grass Valley Customers. Since 2005, the County has taken actions to reduce energy use saving an estimated 1,313,255 kWh and 9,875 therms annually through PG&E incentivized energy efficiency programs and are currently generating an estimated 4,544,725 kWh annually from five solar PV systems installed in 2017/2018. Additionally, 2,115 residential and 102 non-residential solar PV systems have been installed in unincorporated Nevada County producing an estimated 23,543,975 kWh of Electricity annually. The County has already take steps to streamline the permitting process to reduce costs for installing solar PV systems.
“Palo Alto has taken the lead in implementing environmentally sustainable policies at the local level. The city, adjacent to Stanford University, is moving forward to share its experiences with other cities around the world as part of an effort to address the environmental crisis of our time.” -Palo Alto Climate Protection Plan
The Town of San Anselmo has a rich history of climate action, environmental protection and supporting alternative transportation, including bicycles, pedestrians, trains and bus service. In 1973, the town adopted a Conservation and Open Space Plan and Procedures for environmental review. In 1974, they urged for scrutiny of stationary sources of air pollution and passed requirements for recycling. The following year, the town urged Congress to reduce automobile emissions. In 1978, the town recognized renewable energy sources by proclaiming a Sun Day and Marin Solar Energy Week.
“The City of San Carlos continues to be a leader in Green Programs and initiatives dealing with Climate Protection at the City, County and Regional levels. In San Carlos, the City has teamed up with the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce and San Carlos Green to bring these programs and efforts to a city-wide audience. The City Staff handles Green Programs at the City Government, the Chamber of Commerce works with the business community and San Carlos Green works with San Carlos residents.
San Leandro is dedicated to being a sustainable, livable city. The city is working hard to address the threats of human-induced climate change by reducing pollutants, conserving precious resources, and strengthening their community resilience to a changing climate and rising sea levels. The city’s recent Climate Resolution demonstrates their commitment to the just transition and moving towards a just clean energy future.
“The community outcomes: healthy and safe, livable, prosperous, environmentally conscious and collaborative — provide a foundation for sound decision-making. Our natural resources are preserved through environmental stewardship, reducing our carbon emissions, and using energy, water and land more efficiently. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Conserve and protect natural resources.” San Mateo Shared Vision 2025
“In 2006 San Rafael was one of the early signatories to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, committing the City to working towards meeting the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. To provide a road map on how the City can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own municipal operations as well as influence residents and businesses in San Rafael to reduce their emissions, the City Council called for the preparation of a Climate Change Action Plan.” -City of San Rafael Website
“West Hollywood has a strong record of instituting environmental policies to promote a healthy environment that also result in a lower carbon footprint and per capita GHG emissions than national and statewide averages.
The Town of Yountville has converted approximately 70% of its streetlights to energy efficient LED fixtures and is working with PG&E to convert the remaining streetlights. The town requires all new streetlight and park lighting installations to be LED lighting. The town also recently implemented HVAC and lighting improvements, including occupancy sensors at the Town Hall and Community Center, and insulated the Public Works building. At its Wastewater Treatment Plant, the town modified aeration blowers and replaced a water heater and six motors with energy-efficient models.