On September 22, 2020, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Resolution No. 2020/256 that endorses the Declaration of a Climate Emergency in Contra Costa County. The resolution demands accelerated actions on the climate crisis and calls on local and regional partners to join together to address climate change.
The resolution states: ”WHEREAS, the COVID-19 crisis could mark a turning point in progress on climate change and there will be a need for a resilient recovery after the pandemic, and Contra Costa County’s capacity to act depends largely on our ability to work together in solidarity to build the bridge between fighting COVID-19, biodiversity loss, and climate change.”
“It is our hope and vision that Contra Costa County dedicates itself to making important and significant progress to address climate change now and in the years ahead,” said Board Chair, Supervisor Candace Andersen. “We must continue our work to be good stewards of the environment for future generations.”
The Declaration of a Climate Emergency resolves to achieve a range of initiatives, including:
- Contra Costa County establishes an interdepartmental task force to focus on urgent implementation of the Climate Action Plan.
- The County considers its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and can incorporate the County’s climate goals.
- The County seeks input from the community (with a special focus on highly impacted Environmental Justice communities), workers, and business/industry to help the County plan for a “Just Transition” away from a fossil-fuel dependent economy.
- The County will prioritize the implementation of its Climate Action Plan in order to achieve greenhouse gas reductions.
- The County considers impacts on residents, especially the young, the elderly, low-income or communities of color, and other vulnerable populations.
“Contra Costa County has a plan to transition toward a better environment and continue to affect change that has already begun,” said Supervisor Federal Glover, Chair of the County’s Sustainability Commission. “We can not wait to take further actions. I thank my fellow Board members, the Sustainability Commission, and all of the community members who contributed to an urgent resolution for action on climate change.”
“The Climate Crisis is real and we’re feeling its impacts now. That’s why bold action is needed today. Our County intends to be a leader in addressing the Climate Crisis and preparing for the transition to a fossil free future,” said Supervisor John Gioia. “By acting now, we can have a healthier environment, a safer and more resilient community, and a stronger economy with good well-paying jobs.”
The resolution was developed by the County’s Sustainability Commission, which is made up of community members, and the Sustainability Committee composed of Supervisors Glover and Gioia.
The Climate Emergency resolution further calls for “a unified Countywide voice around climate change and strengthen the call for state and federal actions and funds to address the economic, social, public health, and national security threats posed by the climate crisis.”