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Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy
The City of San José has prepared a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy in conjunction with the preparation of the Envision San José 2040 General Plan to ensure that implementation of the General Plan aligns with implementation requirements of Assembly Bill 32 (AB32) – the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy includes two approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions: 1) specific City-sponsored initiatives and actions the City is taking over matters with which the City has direct control (e.g. Green Vision, implementation of the General Plan), and 2) establishing policies to direct, guide or influence actions of third parties to implement and maintain consistency with the Strategy on a project-by-project basis.  

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In 2006, the State of California adopted State Senate Bill AB 32 – the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires by law a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions throughout the state to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and to 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050. In 2007, State Senate Bill 97 established regulations requiring potential greenhouse gas emissions created as a result of a project be analyzed during the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) is the local agency authorized to regulate greenhouse gases in the San Francisco Bay Area Air Basin. In 2010, the Air District released the Air Quality CEQA Guidelines which outline the Air District’s recommended procedures for evaluating greenhouse gas emissions during the environmental review process. The Guidelines encouraged local jurisdictions to adopt a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy to demonstrate a method to meet the goals of AB 32 and to conform to CEQA requirements.

In November 2010, the City adopted the  Envision San José 2040 General Plan and certified an associated Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The potential impact of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change related to the implementation of the General Plan were analyzed in the EIR. The EIR studied the underlying causes of climate change; included forecasts of the City’s potential future greenhouse gas emissions; and identified measures the City is taking to limit its contribution to cumulative greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of this analysis, the City adopted a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy as a part of the General Plan.

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)Streamlining


The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy also provides a method to streamline the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process. Projects that conform to the General Plan may make use of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy in lieu of completing a separate analysis of a project’s potential greenhouse gas emissions, by demonstrating conformance to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy and in conformance with CEQA Guidelines Section 15183.5, which specifically addresses Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plans. 

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy Implementation [draft] City Council Policy


The Planning Division is in the process of drafting a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy Implementation City Council Policy that will further implement the City's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy through the development review process on a project level. 

The Planning Commission voted 6-1 to recommend the City Council adopt the proposed Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy Implementation City Council Policy as recommended by staff during a public hearing held on February 26, 2014. The staff report and an archived video of the public hearing is available on the Planning Commission's website

Since the Planning Commission meeting on February 26, 2014, Planning staff has been receiving and responding to additional comments on the proposed Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy Implementation City Council Policy. Based on these comments and the ones provided by the Planning Commission, the proposed Policy has been updated (REVISED PROPOSED POLICY). 

On March 11, 2014 The Mayor and the City Council deferred considering draft Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy Implementation City Council Policy until the March 18, 2014 City Council session. 

During the March 18, 2014 City Council session, the Mayor and City Council deferred considering the draft Policy to allow time for staff to complete additional research and public outreach. It is anticipated this item will be considered again by the City Council during a fall 2014 public hearing. The staff reports and archived video(s) of the City Council sessions are available on the City Council's website.

Applicants can complete the ""Evaluation of Project Conformance with the City of San Jose Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy" worksheet to demonstrate conformance to the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy while work on the City Council Policy continues.


Any questions or comments relating to the proposed Policy or worksheet should be directed to David Keyon at:
Email: 
Phone: (408) 535-3555