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Climate Action Playbook

Sunnyvale’s updated climate action plan – called the Climate Action Playbook (or “Playbook”) – is a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. The Climate Action Playbook was born out of the Climate Action Plan 2.0 (CAP 2.0) Initiative (2017), a framework to update Sunnyvale’s adopted Climate Action Plan and accelerate local action to further prevent climate change.

Just as a sports playbook identifies a team’s winning strategies to achieve success on the field, the Playbook contains bold, winning strategies to reach our “end game” of 80x50 or carbon neutrality. The Playbook will enable us to build a healthy and sustainable community for Sunnyvale residents, businesses and visitors.

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Nupur Hiremath, Environmental Programs Manager, 408-730-7743

The final Climate Action Playbook* was adopted by City Council on August 13, 2019.

*See Documents tab

Introduction to the Climate Action Playbook

The Climate Action Playbook was developed between 2017 and 2019 as a collaborative, team effort between City staff, consultants, and community members. The community was actively engaged in the process, from the formation of the CAP 2.0 Advisory Committee, to a March 2018 ideation workshop with more than 165 attendees, to community meetings to gather feedback on draft documents.

The Playbook outlines the policy and program direction needed to continue to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 56 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. Community members submitted more than 100 ideas to Innovate Climate Action in Sunnyvale and generated additional ideas at our community workshop in March 2018.

These ideas have inspired the Playbook’s six core Strategies that set the foundation for bold climate action:

  • Promoting Clean Electricity
  • Decarbonizing Buildings
  • Decarbonizing Transportation and Sustainable Land Use
  • Managing Resources Sustainably
  • Empowering Our Community
  • Adapting to a Changing Climate

Within each Strategy, the Playbook defines:

  • Plays that identify opportunities for action. Plays have measurable targets that will help assess progress towards goals.
  • Moves that define specific actions our City and community can collectively take to address climate change.

The Playbook includes Game Plan 2022* – a compilation of “Next Moves” to focus on in the next three years. This Game Plan will be updated every five years as new technologies emerge and new state or local regulations go into effect. While it is impossible to envision all the right Moves today, the Playbook clearly defines the end game, identifies key players, and sets the ball rolling towards the goal posts.

*See Documents tab

CAP 2.0 Advisory Committee

The CAP 2.0 Advisory Committee (CAC) was a community advisory committee that guided the development of the Climate Action Playbook from 2017 to 2019. The CAC consisted of members who represent diverse groups in the City.

  • Residents: Andrew Ma; Padmavathy Mahadevan
  • Volunteer and Community Groups: Sue Serrone; James Tuleya, CAC Vice Chair
  • Small business: Anne Ashini Fernando
  • Large business: Drew Wenzel
  • Real estate: Mandy Abend
  • City Commissions: John Cordes, Bicycle and Pedestrian; Sue Harrison, Planning; Stephen Joesten, Sustainability; Kristel Wickham, CAC Chair, Sustainability
  • Alternate: Douglas Kunz
  • Former members: Marie Curtis, Jasneet Sharma

Agendas, minutes, and recordings of CAC meetings

History of Climate Action in Sunnyvale

The City’s first Climate Action Plan (CAP 1.0)* (adopted 2014) was designed to help the City reduce its emissions levels as equal to 1990 levels by 2020. By 2016, the City had already surpassed this 2020 target as noted in the CAP Biennial Progress Report 2018*.

Now the State of California has set new targets that move the ball further down the field for even deeper emissions reductions of:

  • 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and
  • 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 ("80x50" or "carbon neutrality")

CAP 1.0 set the City on track to meet or exceed the State’s 2020 GHG emissions reduction target. However, it was not designed to identify how to achieve more ambitious and longer term targets for 2030 and 2050.

In 2017, Sunnyvale City Council adopted “Accelerate Climate Action” as a Council Policy Priority to enable the City to meet or exceed these state targets. Council re-affirmed this Policy Priority in 2018 and 2019.

To address Council’s Priority, the City began developing an updated climate action plan – the Climate Action Playbook – that will guide the City and community in achieving or exceeding the State’s 2030 and 2050 targets.

*See Documents tab.

Last Updated: Aug 20, 2019