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Climate Change Action Plan

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. The City Council adopted San Rafael’s first San Rafael Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) on April 20, 2009, which was developed by a 14-member Green Ribbon Committee along with volunteer subject matter experts. It set goals of a 25% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) by 2020, and an ambitious 80% reduction by 2050 to meet targets set by the State of California.

As of the end of calendar year 2016, the City had reduced community-wide GHG’s by 18%, meeting the State target of 15% reduction and on track to meet our local 25% stretch goal. Meantime, at the end of 2016 the State issued new interim targets for 2030 of 40% reduction of GHG’s below 1990 levels. In 2017 the City convened a 20-member Climate Action Working Group to revise the CCAP toward these new 2030 targets. The result is the new Climate Change Action Plan 2030, which was approved by City Council on May 20, 2019. Watch for a new CCAP 2030 website coming this fall. SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE KEY ACTIONS YOU CAN DO!

Quarterly community update meetings on the implementation of the Climate Action Plan are generally held the 3rd Thursday of the month each January, April, July, and October. Subscribe to our email distribution list to keep informed! Choose General News and Updates, and it will take you to a page where you can select Sustainability and Green Initiatives.

Top Things You Can Do to Help San Rafael Combat Climate Change


  1. Sign up for Resilient Neighborhoods and join a Climate Action Team.
  2. Commit to reducing your carbon footprint by taking the actions identified in this Plan.


  1. Drive an all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle.
  2. Bike, walk or take transit whenever possible.
  3. Shut your car off when waiting in line at the ATM or school pick up/drop off lane.
  4. Better yet, have your child walk or bike to school.
  5. Use an electric leaf blower and lawn mower.

Energy Efficiency

  1. Replace indoor and outdoor lights with LED bulbs, and turn them off when not in use.
  2. Have an energy assessment done for your home or business.
  3. Upgrade insulation, seal leaks, and install a programmable thermostat.
  4. Purchase Energy Star appliances and equipment.
  5. Unplug electronic appliances when not in use and set the thermostat to use less heat and air conditioning.

Renewable Energy

  1. Switch to MCE Deep Green or PG&E Solar Choice 100% renewable electricity option.
  2. Install a solar energy system on your home or business.
  3. Replace appliances that use natural gas for ones that use electricity.
  4. Investigate electric hot water heaters and heat pumps so you can swap out heaters and furnaces that use natural gas when it’s time to replace them.


  1. Buy only as much as you need.
  2. Buy locally grown food and eat less meat.
  3. Put your food scraps in the green can and/or compost them at home.
  4. Donate extra food and used clothing and housewares to charities.
  5. Don’t be a “wishful” recycler.  Be scrupulous about how you sort your recyclables.


  1. Replace your lawn with a drought-tolerant garden.
  2. Install a drip irrigation system and check it regularly for leaks.
  3. Install low water flow faucets, showerheads and toilets.
  4. Buy water-efficient dishwashers and clothes washers when it’s time to replace them.

Sequestering Carbon and Planning for Climate Effects

  1. Plant trees appropriate to your situation.
  2. Add compost to your soil.
  3. Purchase carbon offsets for airplane flights and other emissions that are difficult to mitigate.
  4. Find out if your home or business is vulnerable to sea level rise at Our Coast Our Future.


  1. Get involved! Attend City Council meetings, Climate Action Plan implementation forums, and other public forums to voice your support for actions contained in this Plan.
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