Local governments wield significant influence and authority that can drive environmental sustainability within their jurisdictions. In addition to moderating their own resource and operational decisions, local governments can substantially influence the resource behavior and associated carbon impacts of their constituents and other key stakeholders through a variety of policies, plans and actions.
In its Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) established a strategic framework for helping local governments advance sustainability within their jurisdictions.
- Lead by Example
Local governments are significant consumers of natural resources in their own facilities. By improving resource efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and cutting energy bills, local governments can showcase the products and practices that will become commonplace in a sustainable community.
- Influence the Community
Local governments can effectively influence their residents and businesses through a range of measures and techniques such as marketing and outreach efforts, incentives and entitlements, financial and technical assistance, redevelopment and economic development.
- Leverage Local Authority
Local governments have the authority to encourage and reward sustainable projects through local plans, permits and approvals. They can also improve the sustainability of new and existing buildings by enacting code requirements, ordinances and programs.
The California Sustainability Alliance has embarked upon multiple activities to help local governments implement these strategies.