Sustainability Frequently Asked Questions: 

  1. How to get involved in Climate Action: Thank you for your interest in making Berkeley even more sustainable! The Climate Action Plan has ambitious goals and it is going to take everyone's help to meet these goals. We invite you to join the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition as one way of becoming involved. The Coalition is made up of local non-profits, educational institutions, businesses, faith-based organizations, public health organizations, neighborhood groups, government agencies and committed individuals, all working together to implement the Berkeley Climate Action Plan.
    Other ways you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions include: hands planting together image
    • Replace some of your auto trips with bike, bus, walking, or BART every week
    • Dry your clothes on a clothesline
    • Plug all electronics into power strips and switch off when not in use (including cell phone and other chargers, TV, DVD, stereos, etc.
    • Sign-up for a free home energy audit from CYES (Rising Sun Energy Center), see: www.risingsunenergy.org
    • Get a home performance test and do an energy upgrade (for example, add insulation and apply weather stripping to doors and windows) for your home, rebates are available through www.energyupgradeca.org
    • Buy products with less packaging
    • Go solar- get a free solar analysis from SmartSolar (Community Energy Services Corporation), see: http://ebenergy.org/smart-solar-program/ 

  2. What is the Berkeley Climate Action Plan: The Berkeley Climate Action Plan (CAP) describes Berkeley's current greenhouse gas emission sources and provides a roadmap for how Berkeley can become more sustainable and reduce community-wide global warming emissions to 33% below 2000 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The CAP lists out green/environmental strategies and for our buildings, transportation, land-use, waste, and action on how we can be resilient against the effects of climate change.

  3. Why and how was the CAP developed? In 2006, Berkeley voters overwhelmingly endorsed ballot Measure G, which set the goal of reducing community greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 2000 levels by 2050. The Berkeley Climate Action Plan was written through a community-wide process and was adopted by City Council on June 2, 2009. It is available online at: www.cityofberkeley.info/climate 

  4. How are we doing on meeting the CAP goals? Even though Berkeley's population has increased 10%, our community-wide emissions have dropped by 8% since 2000. To ensure that we stay on course to meet these targets, the City is tracking community-wide emissions and other key metrics over time. Check out the Climate Action Plan Progress page to review a range of metrics designed to illustrate progress toward our goals.

  5. What does a sustainable Berkeley look like…? We want to continue to make Berkeley thrive and be an economically prosperous, equitable, and beautiful place. In addition, we want to: see new and existing buildings achieve zero net energy consumption, live in a place where public transportation, walking, cycling and other sustainable modes of transportation are the primary means of getting around, aspire to have zero waste sent to landfills, enjoy food that is grown locally and eaten fresh, value and protect nature, and create a community that is resilient and where the social and economic benefits of climate protection are shared across the community. This is our vision for a sustainable Berkeley.

  6. What does the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development do? The Office of Energy and Sustainable Development leads the City's sustainability efforts, though all departments are involved in advancing environmental sustainability.The Office ofEnergy & Sustainable Development works to increase Berkeley's resource and energy efficiency, reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, stimulate green building, meet Climate Action Plan goals and promote overall sustainability. Some of our current projects include:

Resources: