Climate Change

Click here to read our Climate Action Plan

Climate change has significant, widespread impacts on California’s economy and environment. The state has set a goal of reducing our emission of harmful greenhouse gases (the pollutants that cause climate change) to 1990 levels by 2020 (about a 15% reduction), to reduce emissions 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, and is aiming for an 80% reduction by 2050. Learn more about the state's actions here.

Walnut Creek is actively working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 15% from 2005 levels by the year 2020. The City Council approved Walnut Creek's first Climate Action Plan (CAP) on April 17, 2012. The CAP outlines the City's overall strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in response to state regulations to address climate change. The CAP will serve as a blueprint for the City's future sustainability efforts and contain policies that are designed to help the City meet state legal requirements for greenhouse gas reductions.

2016 Annual Update on CAP Progress

On November 7, 2017, the City Council heard an update on the City's progress through 2016 toward its Climate Action Plan goals. At the end of 2016, the City estimates it has reduced emissions 8.8%, which is about halfway to our goal of reducing emissions 15% by the year 2020. At the meeting, City Council indicated strong interest in updating our CAP to set new goals for the year 2030.

Figure 1. Community Emissions Reductions (2016)

CAP progress 2016

Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Walnut Creek’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory [PDF] establishes a baseline for greenhouse gas emissions from our community and from our government facilities and activities for the year 2005. This baseline will help us measure our progress as we work to reduce our emissions by implementing our CAP. Our largest sources of emissions are from the transportation sector (59%), residential energy use (18%), and commercial/industrial energy use (18%).

In 2015, the City conducted a more recent Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for the community for the year 2013 to measure our progress and found that transportation, residential energy use, and commercial/industrial energy use continue to be our top three sources of emissions. The City also completed an Assessment Report of our progress through 2016 and what strategies we should focus on to reach our goals in 2020.


Download the Climate Action Plan and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory (Adopted 2012).
Download the Addendum to the Walnut Creek General Plan EIR [PDF]

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