Climate Action Planning and Implementation: Group Coaching
Local government plays a critical role in local and global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Government agencies lead by example, by reducing emissions from their own operations; educate residents and local businesses on how they can effectively reduce their emissions, and use policy and incentives to drive long-lasting behavioral change within their communities.
In Silicon Valley, most jurisdictions have completed a greenhouse gas inventory, but the majority have not yet set GHG reduction goals or completed a Climate Action Plan (CAP). Those jurisdictions with a CAP are finding it difficult to implement, given tight budgets, reduced staff and competing priorities. Compounding the challenge, many of the government employees leading climate protection efforts have multiple responsibilities, and often lack expertise in climate solutions or social change strategies.
As part of Sustainable Silicon Valley’s services for the professional development of sustainability personnel, climate change consultants are coaching two groups of local government climate change coordinators. The program enables peers to share their challenges, solutions and lessons learned, and to develop a common approach to shared problems. Consultants provide strategic planning and change management guidance, suggest relevant resources, and documents the process so it can benefit others. The program is offered at no charge to SSV partners.
One group's members are trying to translate their city's GHG reduction goals into a realistic, actionable plan with specific programs and metrics. The other group's participants in some cases have a CAP in place or in development, but struggle with institutionalizing the effort. All need help in getting the active support of their colleagues and the broader community in order to achieve meaningful GHG reductions and meet their goals.
Both groups have chosen to focus on transportation-related issues, which represent 50% or more of emissions in the Bay Area and its individual communities. Participants are reviewing the transportation sections of other local CAPS for ideas and analysis, identifying the GHG mitigation measures most appropriate for their community, and developing programs that will be cost-effective and embraced by staffers and community members. Members hope to craft common policies and outreach messages that will influence behavioral change in the entire region, beyond individual borders.
SSV is seeking financial support to continue working with the two existing groups, and to expand this program to its other interested members. Although the program is still in its early stages, the initial response from participants has been enthusiastic and the need for the services very clear. SSV believes each group can achieve meaningful results -- accelerating the creation and effective implementation of Climate Action Plans in Silicon Valley local governments -- by working together for a 6-9 month period. As the process becomes more defined, based on participant experience and feedback, new groups can be added and new facilitators trained to meet demand.
To join a Climate Coaching group, please Contact Us