Two years and some delay later, the city's Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0 received one last look and extensive feedback at the Pleasanton City Council's final meeting of 2021.
A draft version of the 73 page document – which outlines the city's next decade of environmental policy framework and addresses climate change through a number of suggested actions – was presented at the Dec. 21 council meeting. The city started updating the CAP 2.0 about two years ago but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, then prioritized it in the city work plan earlier this year.
In an interview with the Weekly, Councilmember Jack Balch called the CAP 2.0 "very good," but said that "as we implement the actual ordinances, how we fine tune it on a daily basis for our residents" will ultimately determine its success.
"We can talk about electrification and incentives, but what will those be? It's going to take a lot of sectors to come together to achieve it," Balch said.
Balch added that the CAP 2.0 "is more aggressive right now than we possibly need to be for the graph, but it helps us continue the trend line for the next cycle beyond the 2030 plan. It gets us on track for 2045 neutrality." The city is ultimately aiming to reduce more than 4.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by that point.
Some initial objectives outlined in the CAP update include reducing Pleasanton's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, creating a "realistic and implementable" plan "with evidence-based, actionable, and achievable local policies," and creating "a qualified CAP under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that complies with current regulations."
The draft list also includes "some substantive changes/direction" like requiring "covered projects" within the Pleasanton Municipal Code to install battery storage.
Councilmember Julie Testa, who served as vice mayor one last time that evening, said in an interview that the community needs to "fully embrace" CAP 2.0, "and I was asking that the city set by example, do everything we can within the city to implement the goals, and that would be every opportunity we have to add and improve solar, and to have our vehicles be low emission."
Specifically, Testa took issue earlier that evening with the city's purchase of five gas-powered vehicles for the Pleasanton Police Department. Testa said she supports giving PPD "the very best vehicles, but I asked if there is a reason we're purchasing a fleet of five new vehicles when there is in the same model, a pursuit-rated version that is a hybrid."
Testa added, "We need to get away from the gas-powered and we're asking our community members to do that, we're asking our business members to do the same, and we need to model the same."
According to the city, adoption of CAP 2.0 will result in an estimated annual cost savings of $587,000 to the community, depending on which policies are ultimately included in the plan.
Staff will make modifications to the document "as appropriate," before bringing a final version to the committee for review in late January. The final CAP 2.0 is scheduled for a council vote in February.