ECC – Support Climate Emergency Actions

Needed Local Government Climate Actions

Support comprehensive, immediate, and sustained actions to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions

Contacts: Richard Rollins

Goal: Mobilize local governments in Emergency Responses to our climate crisis.

Actions: Urge Chapters, Groups, other Club entities and activists to partner and work with other organizations to utilize the implementation suggestions and example city resolutions posted on the ECC website (see Resources below) to:

  • Mobilize, expand, and accelerate local and regional support for implementation of comprehensive, immediate, and sustained actions to achieve net zero emissions in all California jurisdictions by the earliest possible date to help limit global warming to no more than 1.5 °C, and ensure a safe and stable climate;
  • Help all California governments and agencies establish timetables to update their guiding plans and commitments to achieve net zero emissions in their jurisdictions by the earliest possible date by immediately and urgently implementing enforceable measures to achieve the updated goals.

Background: Recent climate news brings new emphasis to the urgency with which greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be reduced and atmospheric carbon must be sequestered. This news included the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C, the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Fifth National Climate Assessment, the California Air Resources Board 2022 Scoping Plan for Achieving Carbon Neutrality, Progress Report: California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, California’s SB 32 requiring GHG emissions to be reduced to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and AB 1279 requiring California achieve statewide carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and no later than 2045.

Responding to this news, communities throughout California are intensifying their focus on actions that enable an emergency-level response to our climate crisis. This has includes passing Climate Emergency resolutions (see links to examples below), accelerating existing plans to reduce GHG emissions, and identifying new local and regional actions that can be taken in the near term to reduce or eliminate GHG emissions. Sierra Club California passed a resolution declaring a Climate Emergency and setting up a “toolbox” of best practices that can be used by Chapters, Groups, other Club entities, activists, other organizations, and city, county, and regional officials.


  1. Sierra Club California Resolution (passed Feb 9, 2019)
  2. Background information: UN and CA Statements
  3. Slides and Video Recordings of the Climate Emergency presentations (plus Q&A) by Andy Shrader, Rachel Golden, Richard Rollins, and Rebecca Franke (from the California Conservation Committee video meeting of Sep 8, 2019)

Toolbox: Each of these toolbox elements will be continuously updated to enable sharing and expeditious implementation of GHG reduction efforts throughout California.

  1. Examples of City and County emergency resolutions
  2. Local Climate Action Tool Box: Compilation of ordinances, agency rules, and practices to accelerate GHG reductions  (Ordinances, codes, regulations, programs: Find the tools you need to facilitate local climate action.)
  3. Submission form for new action itemsThis online form is for anyone who wishes to submit a local ordinance or agency rule for addition to the Local Climate Actions Toolbox. Simply download the form by following the instructions, and submit as indicated on the submission form.
  4. How to write a Climate Emergency Resolution (pdf)
  5. Sierra Club policy on Climate Resilience, Carbon Dioxide Removal, and Geoengineering.
  6. Additional guidance on declaring a climate emergency and engaging in follow up activism.
  7. Model legislation for deep decarbonization to reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, especially at the state and federal levels.