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Draft Climate Action Plan Update

Post Date:07/08/2024 5:00 PM

The City of Carlsbad has released a draft update of its Climate Action Plan, marking a significant step in the city’s ongoing efforts to protect the environment and address the causes of climate change.

As one of the first cities in the county to adopt a qualified Climate Action Plan in 2015, Carlsbad has made substantial progress over the past nine years and surpassed the city’s first greenhouse gas reduction target, reducing emissions by 4% below 2012 levels by 2020.

Since then, communitywide greenhouse gas emission inventories and statewide targets have been updated, presenting the city with the opportunity to update its Climate Action Plan and further pursue the community’s goal of promoting environmental sustainability. This update aligns with a key goal of the City Council's 5-Year Strategic Plan to protect the environment and natural resources.

The updated plan features 25 measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, grouped into six categories or "strategies."

CAP Update strategies
This includes continuing successful initiatives from the 2015 plan, leveraging current city programs and policies, and introducing new, forward-thinking measures. Some of these measures include:

  • Expanding recycling and composting programs to keep waste out of landfills.
  • Optimizing traffic signals and enhancing pedestrian pathways to cut vehicle emissions.
  • Enhancing water system efficiency and promoting renewable energy use.
  • Managing urban forests and green spaces to capture carbon and improve air quality.

The updated measures are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 105,000 metric tons by 2035 and 142,000 metric tons by 2045. This reduction is equivalent to removing over 22,000 gas-powered cars from the road for a year by 2035 and over 30,000 by 2045.

New state goals
The draft Climate Action Plan Update sets greenhouse gas reduction targets to align with new state laws:

  • A 50% reduction in emissions from 2016 levels by 2035.
  • An 85% reduction from 2016 levels by 2045.GHG emissions targets

Combined with reductions achieved from federal and state regulations, the Climate Action Plan Update is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 680,000 metric tons by 2035 and 883,000 metric tons by 2045.
2045 target
Public participation and plan development
In early 2022, the public was invited to help shape the Climate Action Plan Update by providing input on environmental sustainability needs and priorities. This public input was used to help develop a list of proposed measures for the updated plan.

City staff presented the list of proposed measures to the City Council on Nov. 7, 2023 and gathered additional input from the public. Based on City Council direction and public feedback, staff added three measures to the plan—two proposing updates to the city’s “reach” code, which sets energy efficiency standards in the building code, and one to install solar panels in city-owned parking lots.

Next steps

  • Staff is scheduled to present the draft Climate Action Plan Update to the Planning Commission in September.
  • The final step will be to present the draft to the City Council for adoption, which is expected to happen later in the fall.
  • After adoption, city staff will track implementation efforts throughout the year and provide an annual progress report to the City Council.

Review the draft
To read the draft plan, visit the city’s website. A printed copy is available at the Office of the City Clerk. If you have comments, please send them to Katie Hentrich, the Climate Action Plan Administrator, at The public is also invited to provide feedback directly to the Planning Commission and City Council. Sign up for email updates to be notified of those meetings.

More information
Draft Climate Action Plan Update
Climate Action Plan webpage
Katie Hentrich, Climate Action Plan Administrator,, 442-339-2623

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