Berkeley Climate Action Coalition

We're all in this together!
We're all in this together!
Coalition members make connections at Sunday Streets.
Coalition members make connections at Sunday Streets.
Over 40 groups participate in the Berkeley Climate Coalition.
Over 40 groups participate in the Berkeley Climate Coalition.

The Berkeley Climate Action Coalition is a strong and growing network of local organizations and community members joining together to implement the City of Berkeley’s ambitious, fifty-year Climate Action Plan. We include residents, non-profits, the City of Berkeley, neighborhood groups, faith based organizations, schools, businesses, UC Berkeley, and others.

Our Coalition initiates projects that address climate change on a wide variety of issues — energy, water, food, waste, the built environment, and transit. We incorporate social justice concerns into the work we do and our projects strive to improve access to clean air and water, healthy food, local renewable energy, energy-efficient housing, and affordable, accessible, and reliable public transit.

Learn more about us from this video, created by members of the Coalition:

The Berkeley Climate Coalition has launched several Working Groups, each dedicated to carrying out an action that aligns with the Climate Action Plan. Projects include:

  • Advancing Community Choice Energy
  • Energy Efficiency and Recycling in Multifamily Apartment Buildings
  • Transitioning Vacant Lots to Community Gardens
  • Transportation Infrastructure for Cyclists, Pedestrians, and Public Transit Riders
  • Water Conservation

See the list below to learn more about the Working Group Projects and to get involved!

BERKELEY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

In 2006, Berkeley voters overwhelmingly endorsed Measure G, a ballot measure that mandated that Berkeley reduce our entire community’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 2000 levels by 2050. The ballot measure directed the City to develop a Climate Action Plan to achieve that target. After a lengthy community planning process, the Berkeley City Council adopted the final plan on June 2, 2009.

The plan is designed to reduce community wide greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050. The vision for Berkeley is a bold one:

  • New and existing Berkeley buildings achieve zero net energy consumption
  • Public transit, walking, cycling, and other sustainable mobility modes are the primary means of transportation for Berkeley residents and visitors
  • Zero waste is sent to landfills
  • The majority of food consumed in Berkeley is produced locally
  • Our community is resilient and prepared for the impacts of global warming
  • The social and economic benefits of the climate protection effort are shared across the community

Read the Berkeley Climate Action Plan’s Executive Summary and Full Report on the City of Berkeley’s website.


ABOUT THE COALITION

Formed in the spring of 2012, the Coalition is convened by the Ecology Center and supported by a grant from the San Francisco Foundation. The Ecology Center is working closely with the City of Berkeley’s Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, and an array of organizations and individuals who make up the Coalition’s Steering Committee and membership.

To learn about the governance structure of the Berkeley Climate Coalition, visit this page.

If you have questions about the Berkeley Climate Coalition or would like to get involved, contact:

Debra Berliner
Ecology Center, Climate Action Coordinator
Phone: (510) 548-2220 x 240
Email: debra@ecologycenter.org

Marna Schwartz
City of Berkeley, Office of Energy and Sustainable Development
Phone: (510) 981-7473
Email: mschwartz@cityofberkeley.info


WORKING GROUP: COMMUNITY CHOICE ENERGY

This Working Group advocates for the establishment of a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program in the City of Berkeley. Community choice aggregation (CCA) allows local governments to pool, or aggregate, the electric load of their residents, businesses and institutions in order to purchase electricity on their behalf. The Working Group is developing educational materials detailing existing and developing California CCA programs and identifying the benefits – environmental, economic, and social – of establishing a CCA program. Resources are available from Marin County’s CCA program: overview of their program, and common critiques of this type of program and responses. Through an outreach and education campaign targeting the Berkeley public and the Berkeley City Council, and including meetings with stakeholders and public forums, the CCE Working Group is working toward the adoption and implementation of a Berkeley CCA program.

WORKING GROUP: MULTIFAMILY ENERGY EFFICIENCY & RECYCLING

This Working Group is collaborating to reduce energy and water use, landfill waste, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with multifamily buildings in the City of Berkeley. This will be achieved through streamlining and increasing access to existing energy and water efficiency and recycling services for property owners and tenants. The Working Group will also develop a training focused on empowering property owners and tenants to increase and sustain their energy and water efficiency and recycling efforts.

WORKING GROUP: Land Use

Many of the impacts of climate change, including drought and water shortages, impact food production. A predicted result is rising food prices and diminished food security. A key strategy of climate change adaptation is the maximization of urban food production. The goal of this Working Group is to establish clear, replicable processes by which residents can establish new community gardens on public and privately owned undeveloped land. As part of this goal, the group will identify local vacant lots and prepare one pilot site for a community garden. The group will create criteria for prioritizing vacant lots, compile community garden waiting lists, create protocol for testing soil for contaminants, and develop and publicize a guide that explains how to establish community gardens.

The Land Use Working Group has created a Berkeley Community Gardening Handbook, which reflects our growing body of knowledge on how to establish community gardens in Berkeley. This is a living document, which will be updated and expanded as the working group learns more.


WORKING GROUP: TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS

The Transportation Working Group encourages and supports walking, cycling, and public transit within and around Berkeley. The group contributed to the wildly successful event,   Sunday Streets, and is in the process of determining other policy and project goals. Come join the conversation!

GET INVOLVED

Participation in the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition is open, and we welcome all who would like to contribute to the implementation of the Climate Action Plan. There are two levels of involvement:

  • General Members agree to stay up to date and aware of Coalition activities, and participate in quarterly meetings or calls. They have access to the listserv and digital resources. They offer support with occasional advising, specific skills, and other resources as available.
  • Active Participants agree to attend quarterly meetings and participate in a Working Group to carry out at least one action from the Berkeley Climate Action Plan. They may also assume positions of leadership, either in the Coalition Steering Committee or in a particular Working Group. They have access to the listserv and digital resources. They offer support to the general Coalition and to their Working Group.

To join the Berkeley Climate Coalition or get involved with one of the Working Groups, complete the Member Form and send it to one of the contacts below:

Debra Berliner
Ecology Center, Climate Action Coordinator
Phone: (510) 548-2220 x 240
Email: debra@ecologycenter.org

Marna Schwartz
City of Berkeley, Office of Energy and Sustainable Development
Phone: (510) 981-7473
Email: mschwartz@cityofberkeley.info