Climate Action Plan
Climate Action Plan Overview
The City of San Mateo adopted a community-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP) on April 6, 2015 that updates and consolidates the City’s existing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reduction Plan, Climate Action Plan for Municipal Operations and Facilities, and Sustainable Initiatives Plan based on the vision of San Mateo residents, businesses, and local government. The City’s goal was to prepare a Climate Action Plan that serves as an updated and Qualified GHG Reduction Strategy consistent with Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) GHG Plan Level Guidance and CEQA Guidelines, Section 15183.5. The CAP was developed through a robust public process that engaged the Sustainability Commission, staff, and the community.
A CAP is a comprehensive strategy for a community to reduce emissions of GHGs, which are responsible for causing climate change according to scientific consensus. The CAP will include five key pieces:
1. An inventory of the annual GHG emissions attributable to San Mateo based on the types of activities occurring within the community and guidance from various protocols and agencies. The City has inventories of emissions for 2005 and 2010.
2. A forecast of what GHG emissions are likely to look like at a future year, based on expected population and economic growth.
3. A reduction target, which identifies a goal for reducing GHG emissions by a set year.
4. Reduction strategies, which describe the actions the community intends to take to achieve the reduction target. Each strategy should identify the amount of GHGs that will be reduced once the strategy is implemented. The project will also estimate benefits of existing programs.
5. An implementation and monitoring program to track progress toward the reduction target and the status of the reduction strategies. A CAP Consistency Checklist for future development projects is included in the implementation program.
The CAP builds on the community’s progress on sustainability initiatives and integrates both new opportunities and effective programs from the previous documents. The CAP includes revisions of the technical analyses in the existing GHG Emissions Reduction Plan, SIP and Municipal CAP, and will address local, regional, and state GHG reduction measures that have been implemented since the GHG Reduction Plan was adopted in 2010. The CAP relies on the most up-to-date guidance, methods, and science to identify sources of GHGs and develop strategies to reduce emissions.
The reduction measures in the CAP can help community members save money on utility and fuel bills, contribute to the local economy, promote a healthy and active lifestyle, and conserve and protect natural resources, among other advantages. A Qualified GHG Reduction Strategy allows for streamlined review of greenhouse gas emissions for future development projects that are consistent with the CAP.
Public Review Process
A series of public meetings were held to solicit input on the draft Climate Action Plan:
ADOPTED Climate Action Plan
- December 11, 2014 – Review of Draft CAP by the Sustainability Commission
- January 6, 2014 – Joint Planning Commission and Sustainability Commission meeting on Draft CAP and draft General Plan Amendment
- January 20, 2014 – City Council review of Draft CAP
- February 12, 2015 – Sustainability Commission review of Final CAP
- March 10, 2015 – Planning Commission review of Final CAP and General Plan Amendment
- April 6, 2015 – City Council adoption of Final CAP and General Plan Amendment
The adopted Climate Action Plan is now available for download
ADOPTED Climate Action Plan
For additional information or to submit comments please contact the project manager, Kathy Kleinbaum at (650) 522-7153 or by email at
- Climate Action Plan Fact Sheet
- Climate Action Plan glossary