Climate Action in Davis 

Davis has a long history of incorporating innovative sustainability actions in greenhouse gas reductions, transportation, energy, water, waste and municipal policies, frequently through both City Council action and community engagement and activism. For example, over fifty years ago Davis was the first city in the United States to install bicycle lanes. In 1972, Davis adopted the Energy Conservation Building Code, which eventually was the basis for California’s Title 24 requirements and Energy Code. Davis has been a pioneer in waste recycling, reduction and reuse, beginning with starting curbside recycling in 1974 through implementing organics cart collection in 2016.

The current Davis Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) was developed and adopted following significant community engagement and input in 2010, when California climate action plans were in their infancy. This plan identifies a vision for City of Davis carbon neutrality, sustainability and climate actions. Since that time, many sustainability milestones have been reached, including significant city measures and climate actions implemented in the last year.

Current City Measures and Funding – 2019

Resolution Declaring a Climate Emergency and Proposing Mobilization Efforts to Restore a Safe Climate approved by Davis City Council on March 5, 2019 – the resolution commits to accelerating the Community’s carbon neutrality goal from 2050 up to 2040 and implement other significant City actions to address climate change by 2030. City Council Climate Emergency Resolution - Adopted March 5, 2019

2020 Climate Action and Adaptation (CAAP) Update approved by Davis City Council in August 2019 – $500,000 budget item in fiscal year 2019-20 for implementing community outreach and engagement and developing a comprehensive CAAP Update. A Request for Proposals was posted in November 2019. 2020 CAAP Update Request for Proposals.       

This includes a separate regionally integrated 2020 greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, partnering with other jurisdictions in Yolo County. The GHG Inventory will establish current baselines, and also be a template for annual updates. 

New Residential Energy Reach Code approved by Davis City Council in October, 2019 – incentivizes all-electric homes by requiring mixed fuel home building (gas and electric) to have additional energy efficiency requirements, increased photo-voltaic use and battery storage. 2019 Residential Energy Reach Code

New Non-residential Energy Reach Code (commercial and high rise residential) approved by Davis City Council in April 2019 – this reach code builds upon an ordinance passed in 2014 requiring solar for all new, single-family residential construction in the City limits. The 2019 code requires additional energy efficiency in building and additional electric vehicle charging. 2019 Non-residential Energy Reach Code. The EV standards are based on the adopted 2017 Electric Vehicle Charging Plan.  

Urban Forest Plan grant funding received In June 2019 – $500,000 to develop an updated Urban Forest Plan and plant 1,000 trees in Davis neighborhoods.

Valley Clean Energy (VCE) established in 2017 by City of Davis and unincorporated Yolo County – a regional community choice energy provider offering cost competitive, local renewable choices for electricity provision, joined by additional jurisdictions such as City of Woodland. Valley Clean Energy

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Implementation grant received in 2019—Davis will receive $2 million of the total $2.9 million SACOG funding as part of a Yolo County regional effort to install EV chargers and other infrastructure, with project management by Valley Clean Energy.

2019-20 CivicSpark Fellow – Davis has contracted with a Fellow to assist with developing measurement methods and tracking protocols to support municipal operations goals and community climate actions. With funding assistance from Yolo Energy Watch visual graphics will be developed to illustrate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and progress metrics.  https://civicspark.lgc.org/

Solar Leader  Davis has one of the highest solar photovoltaic adoption rates in terms of capacity per capita. As of January 1, 2018, with a population of 68,704, Davis reached 735 watts per capita, more than the leader among US capital cities, Honolulu, as documented in the 2019 Shining Cities report.  https://environmentamericacenter.org/feature/amc/shining-cities-2019In 2017, City of Davis received the U.S. Department of Energy SolSmart Gold Award, as a national leader in advancing solar energy. SolSmart

Cool Davis partner and sponsor – the City works with Cool Davis and other community-based organizations for climate action outreach and engagement. https://www.cooldavis.org/

Yolo Resiliency Collaborative (YRC) founding member and partner – YRC is an ad-hoc, staff-based organization with membership from jurisdictions across Yolo County that formed in October 2017 to kickstart resilience planning and implementation in our communities for adaptation policies related to climate change. The City also proactively engages in  collaboration with regional partners for groundwater, surface water and other resources.

Sustainability Award – City of Davis received the Institute for Local Government’s Beacon Award for Sustainability Best Practices. Beacon Award

Previous City Documents and Actions 

The following reports and documents are related to the City’s current efforts related to community sustainability and climate change. Additional reports and documents will be added as they become available.

In 1999, Davis joined a small group of cities calling for local action and a national policy on climate change. In 2006, the City joined the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement that called for local and national action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). In a clear action in spring 2007, the Davis City Council unanimously adopted a strategy to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Based on this Council strategy, the City joined the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program along with hundreds of other communities across the globe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the local level. The program is designed to educate and empower local governments to take action on climate change. The CCP is a performance-oriented campaign that offers a framework for local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve livability within their municipalities.

The City joined the California Climate Action Registry. The Registry is a non-profit public/private partnership that serves as a voluntary greenhouse gas registry to protect, encourage, and promote early actions to reduce GHG emissions. The Registry provides a verifiable emissions protocol that will ensure that participants receive appropriate consideration for early actions in the event of any future state, federal or international GHG regulatory scheme. This is especially important for communities like Davis that have made significant past investments in GHG reducing programs and infrastructure (e.g. bicycle transportation network).

The City is also coordinating with UC Davis and other organizations to identify where efforts on sustainability and climate change overlap. This will allow the City to partner with other organizations and groups to increase the effectiveness of its actions.

The City is a founding member of the Yolo Resiliency Collaborative, a sub regional member of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative. https://climatereadiness.info/

The City’s Natural Resources Commission is serving as the primary advisory body to the City Council on GHG emissions reductions and climate planning, as well as on the 2020 CAAP Update process.