Contra Costa County Climate Leaders (4CL)

A project of Generation Green a 501(c)3 Non Profit Organization
Contra Costa County Leaders
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You'll find case studies, issues of the month, workshop materials, archived newsletters and updates on local government activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Contra Costa County.
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The 4CL Program offers:
Quarterly workshops for education and networking opportunities
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Newsletter Contributors:
Emily Matthews 
4CL Consultant

Lynda Deschambault
Executive Director 4CL
Contributing Editor:
Katherine Bracken
4CL Volunteer
Newsletter articles are collected from a variety of sources and are cited via a website reference when applicable
To add content or events to our next monthly newsletter, please send an email to  

July 2016

East Bay Energy Watch (EBEW) News

East Bay Energy Watch (EBEW) is a Local Government Partnership between PG&E and Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. California utility ratepayers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) fund our programs and services. For tools and resources, click here
On Bill Financing
In order to cut back on energy usage, upgrade your buildings with energy efficient equipment with the help of PG&E's On Bill Financing program, which provides interest-free loans for replacing old and worn-out equipment with more energy-efficient model. For more on this amazing funding program, click


MIT Funds For Contra Costa County
There is up to $10,000 worth of technical assistance from the Municipal Implementation Team (MIT) Program available to Contra Costa County cities. There are currently $50,000 of assistance that have not been reserved, meaning 5 agencies could receive full allocations! Find out how you qualify
Caltrans funds for cutting emmisions
Caltrans awarded East and South Bay transit agencies more than $16 million for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve public transit. The 12 projects are part of 131 statewide totaling $74.6 million for transit improvements funded through the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program, which aims to curb climate change and is intended to prioritize projects that serve disadvantaged communities. For more on this story, click
Roofing Rebates
Rebates are being offered for reflective roofs. The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association has made a data base of these Cool Roof Rebates, making the funding easily accessible to governments and citizens alike. To start looking for rebates click


Local City News

Wild Fire in Contra Costa County
As the planet gets hotter; high temperatures and drought conditions put many California communities at risk, and Contra Costa County is no exception. On the 4th of July at 12:30am, a fire broke out in the Contra Costa County hillside near Martinez. For more on the fire click
Oakland; a Green City Success Story
The city of Oakland has been very successful in its efforts in increasing energy efficiency, making it a leader in the Bay Area. It is easy for the efforts of smaller cities to go unknowticed, however every cities actions matter, regardless of the size. To learn more about Oakland’s success, click
Pleasanton Supports access to Open Space
The City of Pleasanton has agreed on a project that would increase access to Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. The city will add a trailhead, gate, bathroom, and water faucet; these new facilities will allow more citizens to easily access and enjoy Pleasanton open space. For more on the updates to Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park; click
Oakland Fights Coal
The city of Oakland voted to ban the transport and storage of large coal shipments. One council member stated “With this new law, we’re taking the steps needed to protect our community, our workers and our planet.” For more, click
San Francisco Takes a Stand on Styrofoam  

The City of San Francisco passes a tough ban on Styrofoam. The ban is one of the toughest on the country and will help the city cut down on waste and protect its local wildlife. For more on this story click

Other City News 

Missouri Pioneers Revolutionary Solar Technology
The state of Missouri is on the cutting edge of green technology as it plans to update route 66 with solar panel roadway. This amazing update will provide the state with a clean and reliable energy source. For more on this story; click
Cities Unify to Take a Stand
Cities in six continents joined up to form the world's largest alliance to combat climate change on Wednesday, a move intended to help making ground-level changes to slow global warming. More than 7,100 cities in 119 countries formed the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, a network for helping exchange information on such goals as developing clean energy, organizers said. For more, click
Urbanization Mapping
With more than half of the world’s population now living in cities, this comprehensive, digitized database of city populations through world history helps us see human interaction with the environment. For more, read
Sydney Makes Use of Water Runoff
The city of Sydney uses millions of liters of treated storm water runoff to keep its parks green and wetlands thriving. The storm water is captured, stored and then treated to deliver a new sustainable water supply to the wetlands and Sydney Park. There is also potential for other water users across the local area to access the clean water, including industry. Could Contra Costa Cities use a system like this in their city? For more on Sydney’s storm water catchment system; click
Boise Takes Steps to Save Water
Boise, Idaho is taking stricter steps for water conservation in their update of the state water plan. Water conservation is an important topic for cities, affecting both citizens and the environment. This is an important reminder for Contra Costa County cities to update there climate actions plans and general plans. For more on how Boise is saving water, click
Boston Learns About the Effects of it’s Impacts
The city of Boston commissioned a new report on climate change and its effects on the city. The report warns of severe weather-related consequences if the city does not cut back on carbon dioxide emissions, which have contributed to the increase in average temperatures. In addition, sea levels could increase by about 7 feet by the year 2100 under a specific high-emission scenario in which emissions are not cut, the report says. For more on this, click
Melbourne’s Inspiring Renewable Energy Program 
Melbourne, Australia has created a new renewable energy project that could be a model for cities around the world. Thirteen major institutions operating in the city have formed a consortium that will sign an agreement to purchase a large chunk of their electricity from a new large-scale renewable energy project. This not only helps to fund renewable energy plants but also could reduce the city's emissions by 138,000 tonnes a year. For more on this story click
L.A. is Looking to go 100% Renewable
The Los Angeles city council is considering a motion this month to go 100% renewable, and many of the members are already on board. L.A. is just one of many cities who are considering plans to transition to 100% renewable power. To learn more about L.A.’s renewable energy motion; click


Brexit May Alter the UK’s Sustainability Goals
With the passing of Brexit environmental regulations in the UK are in danger because more than 70% of environmental safeguarding comes from European Union. Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “Many of the laws that make our drinking and bathing water safe, our air cleaner, our fishing industry more sustainable and our climate safer now hang by a thread… There is a very real fear that Cameron's successor will come from the school that supports a bonfire of anti-pollution protections.” For more about the how Brexit may affect the UK’s environmental security; click

Virginia Looks for Solutions to Sea Level Rise
The governor of Virginia signed an executive order Tuesday, saying Virginia’s coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to rising sea levels. Governor Terry McAuliffe is telling state agencies to come up with specific ways Virginia can act to decrease carbon emissions from the state’s power plants. For more; click

Climate Change Summit in Boston
A major climate summit will come to Boston in 2017, putting the city on the world stage as urban leaders from the United States and China work to curb the effects of a warming planet. For more on the climate summit, click

Norway Protects the Forests
Norway pledged a commitment to zero deforestation making them the world leader on deforestation. For more on this new way that government can take a stand against deforestation, click

Canada, the United States, and Mexico Partner for Sustainability
Canada, North America, and Mexico have joined together to create the North American Climate and Energy Partnership. The goal is to achieve 50% clean power generation by 2025, including renewable, nuclear, and carbon capture and storage technologies with actions undertaken by each country individually to achieve this regional goal being in accordance with their own conditions, specific legal frameworks and clean energy national goals. For more on the North American Climate and Energy Partnership click


Trees Save Citizens and Cities Money
New research estimates that the pines, eucalypts, planes, palms, sequoias and magnolias that line the boulevards of the Golden State’s cities and suburbs are worth at least 1 billion a year to California taxpayers. For every $1 spent on planting or maintaining a street tree, that tree returns, on average, $5.82 in benefits. For more on the economic benefits of California’s urban trees, click
Solar and Wind Energy on the Rise
Recent DOE reports have highlighted the rapid growth of wind and solar. Though their overall share of the energy mix in the U.S. is presently small (5.3%), there is ample evidence that wind and solar penetration are growing across the globe. For more, click
Shifting to a Sustainable Economy
The transition to a sustainable, renewable resource based economy will take decades to complete. It will require a more sophisticated partnership between government and the private sector than the U.S. federal government seems capable of undertaking. Fortunately, many of our city and local governments seem more adept at forging these relationships. For more on how cities and businesses need to work together to make sustainability a priority, click
The Economics of Agriculture and Climate Change
Climate change will affect many parts of our economy, but one sector that will be most greatly affected is the agricultural industry. This study took a comprehensive look at how climate change will change the agricultural economy in the South West, finding that there will be significant changes and a need for farmers to adapt to the changing conditions. With agriculture being so important to California’s economy it is necessary to understand how it may change. For more on this story click
Climate Change in the Housing Market
Intense storms, an effect of climate change, have become common increasingly common in Florida and have also been decreasing the property value of homes. For more on this story; click


Environmental Impacts

Vulnerable Groundwater

A new study conducted on California's groundwater determined that there is more water than originally thought, but most of the water is located in regions vulnerable to oil and gas contamination. The finding speaks to a need for better groundwater monitoring in California and across the United States, especially in regions with high levels of oil and gas drilling, wastewater injection, and hydraulic fracturing. To read more click
The Danger of Heat
Researchers from Columbia University wanted to see what effect rising temperatures would have on the mortality of New York City’s residents. Using data from 33 global climate models and two scenarios showing greenhouse gas concentrations, they predict as many as 3,331 people could die every year from heat exposure during New York City summers. For more on this story click
here. Check out our workshop on Resilient cities to learn about how your city can prepare for record heat:
California Wildfires

High temperatures, drought and wind have combined to create a number of fires that have caused at least two deaths in California. The first large wildfire of the summer has broken out in northern California, burning through more than 1,200 acres and threatening thousands of homes in an area around 50 miles north-east of Sacramento. For more on the health dangers of climate change; click
The Reality of Climate Change in California
Here are five major threats that California is, and will be, facing due to climate change: drought and wildfires, sea level rise, increase in health problems due to air quality, and a loss of native fish. It is vital that cities understand the problems that they are facing so that they can take action. For more on these threats; click
warming temperatures continue to grow 
The Earth is warming at a fast pace. Not only did we just experience the hottest April in 137 years of record keeping, but it was the 12th consecutive month to set a new record. For more on this story click

Upcoming Events

Sustainability films
Sustainable Lafayette is hosting a Summer Film Series in the Lafayette Library & Learning Center. The Series will be showing sustainable films every Tuesday between July 12th and August 2th. This film series is an easy and fun way for both citizens and politician to become more educated about the threats that our environment faces, and the solutions we can use to combat them. For more on times, prices, and films please click here.
PACE Webinar
BayREN and HUD have made a Webinar about the PACE Financing Online Program. This Webinar is a great opportunity local politicians to learn about the PACE Financing Online Program and how it can help there cities. For more on this opportunity; click
Food Waste Webinar
The EPA’s new food waste webinar “Too Good to Waste” Is being hosted July 21 from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EST. The free webinar is meant to educate local governments and communities on how to help cut back food waste. This webinar is a great opportunity for local politicians who want to learn more about how they can make there city more environmentally friendly and food conscious. To register; click

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