Oakland 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan - Oakland, California

In July 2020, the City of Oakland’s Department of Public Works released Oakland 2030: Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP). ECAP is a cross-sectional, citywide plan that establishes 40 specific actions that City agencies and its partners must take by 2050 to reduce Oakland’s climate emissions and improve resiliency in an equitable manner. With a strong focus on equity throughout, the ECAP authors have broken down its recommendations and policy actions into seven distinct sectors: transportation and land use, buildings, material consumption and waste, adaptation, carbon removal, City leadership, and the Port of Oakland. Each of the actions has been designed to ensure that frontline communities will benefit first and foremost from action implementation. The Oakland City Council passed the ECAP unanimously on July 28, 2020. To ensure that the ECAP is implemented equitably and justly, a Racial Equity Impact Assessment and Implementation Guide was released in tandem, which will help maximize equity throughout the ECAP’s implementation period.

The Department of Public Works and its partners developed the ECAP in response to Oakland’s 2018 Climate Emergency and Just Transition Resolution – which called for immediate climate action to reduce GHG emissions through the implementation of equitable strategies – as well as reduction targets adopted by the City Council – 56% below 2005 levels by 2030. Throughout the development and creation of the ECAP, all community members were encouraged to participate in public dialogue. The City worked with equity facilitator teams, community leadership cohorts, and the ECAP ad hoc Community Advisory Committee, consisting of 13 different community leaders and experts. Over a year, all told, 2,100 Oaklanders contributed to the development of the Plan through workshops, comment submissions, online surveys, town halls, and more.

Every section and action contained within the ECAP explicitly references how the plan to transition to a cleaner, greener future equitably was developed with frontline communities and equity as the main priority. At the outset of the Report, the authors recognize the historical and systematic racism that has plagued specific neighborhoods throughout Oakland. To address these inequities, the authors of the ECAP designed each action item to “maximize benefits and minimize burdens on frontline communities; prevent displacement; and respond to community priorities and values, addressing disparities in resource allocation and local vulnerability.”

The actions recommended by the ECAP are organized into seven sectors: transportation and land use, buildings, material consumption and waste, adaptation, carbon removal, City leadership, and the Port of Oakland. Each sector contains a background section, which includes: the issues with the current system and how it affects frontline communities, how the City can measure the success of action implementation, and what other advocacy options stakeholders or officials can take to encourage a just, green transition within the sector. Additionally, there is a guiding vision for each sector, which can be realized through action implementation. 

  • Transportation: Integrated land use and access to safe, reliable, low-cost, high-quality mobility options for every Oaklander enable an equitable transition away from cars. Auto use is minimized, and all remaining vehicles on Oakland roads are electric.
  • Buildings: Leveraging a clean electric grid, all buildings in Oakland have transitioned away from onsite fossil fuel use, creating safe and healthy interior spaces that are resilient, efficient, and accessible, prioritizing the needs of low-income and sensitive populations.
  • Materials Consumption and Waste: Oakland has eliminated disposal of organic materials to landfill and strengthened edible food recovery. By providing robust support for a circular economy and promoting low-carbon consumption, Oakland is reducing lifecycle emissions and boosting the local economy.
  • Adaptation: While Oakland continues its efforts to slow and reverse climate change, resilient infrastructure and risk reduction measures are in place to address the immediate and foreseeable climate risks to health and safety, particularly in frontline communities.
  • City Leadership: Oakland City government demonstrates climate leadership throughout its operations, and supports deep engagement on climate action within the community.
  • Port of Oakland: The City and Port are partners in identifying best practices in lowering GHG emissions from Port operations, and implementing policies to dramatically improve both resilience and health outcomes resulting from Port activities and buildings on Port land.

For each policy action, the plan includes cost estimates, potential environmental and economic benefits, and case studies. Each climate action also lists what agency or department will take the lead in implementation.

The ECAP also specifies how implementation will be monitored. Applicable City staff will be required to regularly publish a report on the climate action progress, which will be made available to both the City Council and the public. Implementing the full menu of the ECAP’s action items will cost upwards of $72 million in City funds. Financing will come from various resources, including bonds, loans, grants, taxes, the General Purpose Fund, other external resources, and fees. 

Publication Date: July 2020

Related Organizations:

  • City of Oakland, California

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  • Plans (other)

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