Community Climate Action Plan

The Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) is a strategic roadmap to guide unincorporated San Mateo County in preparing for climate risks and creating impactful greenhouse gas emission reductions. It uses current trends and provides realistic and vetted actions that will help the County reach its climate goals. It will also include a working lands component that will help us sequester carbon in our working lands and support our agricultural community by incentivizing climate-smart farming practices.

The CCAP represents the ongoing work of and partnerships with multiple County departments such as Health Policy and Planning, the Planning and Building Department, the Department of Public Works, LAFCO, and C/CAG.



  • Producing and burning gasoline and natural gas releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, causing global climate disruptions. This disruption causes myriad effects such as drought, more extreme storms, and sea level rise.

    • Aerial view of San Mateo County
      Energy Problem


      We live in a fossil-fuel reliant society. Almost everything we rely on depends on the consumption of carbon.

    • People walking on the San Mateo Coastline
      Emissions Problem


      Carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in historically unprecedented amounts are problematic because they cause climatic disruptions locally and around the globe.

    • Filthy Parking lot
      Culture Problem


      Decades of decision making about development, transportation, and food systems have led us into a deep dependency on fossil fuels. Our twentieth-century consumption patterns, reinforced by a system of cultural preferences, have also led to the rapid consumption of coal, oil, and natural gas that sustain global production lines.

  • Some of the most impactful ways of reducing our emissions to meet State goals remain the most challenging: reducing vehicle miles traveled (think single-occupancy vehicle trips) and transitioning away from natural gas in our homes and commercial buildings. But, the slides below highlight a few promising routes and the Plans go into much greater depth on these and more.

    • Grass hillside overlooking San Mateo County
      Energy Problem


      1. Facilitate fuel switching from natural gas to electric in buildings to reduce emissions
      2. Improve electricity distribution systems to prepare for heightened electricity demand in the future
      3. Increase microgrids to decrease emissions and adapt to a changing climate
    • Man charging electric vehicle
      Energy Problem


      1. Increase electric vehicle adoption.
      2. Implement programs for shared transit that reduce single-occupant vehicle trips
    • Farm rows sprouting
      Energy Problem


      1. Support the agricultural community to engage in practices that will sequester carbon from the atmosphere
      2. Support and grow local food systems
    • Construction crew demolishing building with tractor
      Energy Problem


      1. Reduce construction materials and waste to reduce sourcing and haul emissions
      2. Reduce organics in the waste stream (Residential, Commercial, and Agricultural)
      3. Reduce inorganics waste sent to landfills
    • Waterfront Skyline
      Energy Problem

      Workforce Development

      1. Provide local workforce development opportunities related to building electrification
      2. Support industry representatives to provide trainings for new electric technologies and provide educational resources for inspectors and permit/plan checkers
      3. Create workforce opportunities for community members most affected by climate change
    • Small apartment building
      Energy Problem

      Energy Efficiency

      1. Support low-income households to improve energy affordability through energy efficiency, electrification, and weatherization
      2. Upgrade select low-income homes that would otherwise be disqualified from housing assistance programs
    • Parking Structure with solar panel installation
      Energy Problem


      1. Establish microgrid pilot projects and distributed energy resources at critical facilities across San Mateo County (e.g., schools, hospitals, fire, police), prioritizing opportunities to serve low-income communities. Use utility distribution system capacity maps to prioritize solar and storage and other DER project opportunities, while focusing on communities of concern
      2. Use utility distribution system capacity maps to prioritize solar and storage opportunities, while focusing on communities most affected by climate change
    • Bay area bikeshare terminal
      Energy Problem


      1. Support and work with partners to implement region-wide transit policies and programs
      2. Develop model policies for micro-mobility (bike and scooter share) that facilitate equitable access to mobility services and region-wide transit (first mile last mile)
      3. Facilitate transportation equity through targeted provision of programs that encourage minority, low-income, and senior populations to take transit, walk, bike, and use rideshare or car share

Emissions Forecast

The graph below shows the emissions if nothing is done (blue line), emissions taking into account 100% renewable electricity through Peninsula Clean Energy (green line), the historic emissions and path forward to achieve a net-zero emissions (dark blue line), and the emissions reduction trend accounting for the proposed actions (orange line). The goals in the CCAP are to achieve a 50% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2045. Carbon neutrality is defined by the point at which the removal of carbon pollution from the atmosphere meets or exceeds emissions (AB 1284). (i.e. San Mateo County is removing more carbon from the air than we are emitting.)

California has a statewide goal of greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 40% below the 1990 emissions level by 2030. The County’s first year of emissions tracking starts at 2005 and calls for a 50% decrease by 2030 from this level.

Chart showing path to carbon neutral San Mateo County

What Gets Measured

All measurable emissions from county operations are calculated, for example, by analyzing the amount of electricity, natural gas, or fuel used, or vehicle miles traveled on roads. San Mateo County is responsible for reducing the following 2016 inventory of emissions.

  • Agriculture
  • Airports
  • Energy
  • Transportation
  • Solid Waste
  • Waste Water
  • Water
  • Measuring Agriculture


    • Total GHG Emissions: 1,217
    • Off-Road Equipment: 1,217
    • metric tons of CO2e
  • Measuring Airports


    • Total GHG Emissions: 77,491
    • Off-Road Equipment: 77,491
    • metric tons of CO2e
  • Measuring Energy


    • Total GHG Emissions: 148,396
    • Residential Energy: 59,469
    • Commercial/Industry Energy: 87,037
    • Direct Access: 1,840
    • Stationary Sources: 50
    • metric tons of CO2e
  • Measuring Transportation


    • Total GHG Emissions: 186,747
    • Vehicle: 159,835
    • Off-Road Equipment: 26,293
    • Rail: 619
    • metric tons of CO2e
  • Measuring Solid Waste


    • Total GHG Emissions: 124,179
    • Solid Waste Disposal: 7,117
    • Solid Waste Landfills: 117,061
    • metric tons of CO2e
  • Measuring Wastewater


    • Total GHG Emissions: 1,604
    • Wastewater Treatment: 1,604
    • metric tons of CO2e
  • Measuring Water


    • Total GHG Emissions: 308
    • Water Use: 308
    • metric tons of CO2e



San Mateo County has set a precedence in prioritizing climate related issues in recent years and has made significant strides in upholding its commitment. This Plan is building on work already done and underway and it will chart our course for meeting 2030 and 2045 goals.

  • ACHIEVEMENT: First Climate Action Plan Created

    Plan used to meet new state greenhouse gas reduction goals.


It’s important that our climate action plans are responsive to your experiences and priorities. There are several ways to chime in tell us your thoughts on climate change and how you want this plan to look.

Join our mailing list to receive updates from the Office of Sustainability. Topics include planning and preparing for climate change.
Tell us what you think. We are currently updating the Climate Action Plan and want to hear from you! We will read these comments and incorporate as many as possible into the Climate Action Plan.
Take our 3-5 minute Community Climate Action Plan Survey. We want to learn more about what sustainable changes you would like to see and the sustainable actions you are already doing.

View Government Operations Climate Action Plan

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