Making Progress on Climate Action

The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) outlines the specific actions our community will need to take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and build our resilience against future climate change. The City adopted a major update to our CAP in January 2018 and an interim update in November 2020. Since adoption in 2018, the City has been steadily implementing the measures we committed to in the CAP. In January 2020, the City published its first comprehensive CAP Annual Monitoring Report documenting progress. Subsequent monitoring reports are published annually and can be found on the City's Climate webpage.

Explore the sections below to learn about our GHG emissions reduction targets set by the CAP and the City's recent progress made toward achievement. 

Status of CAP Implementation

This section summarizes the City's latest progress on implementing the measures identified in the Climate Action Plan (CAP). The CAP measures are grouped below by relevant strategy and goal. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of each strategy to explore the progress made in more detail. A timeline, status, and list of co-benefits are presented for each CAP measure.

As of January 2022, 11 of the CAP measures have been funded and initiated or are partially complete. These measures are noted in blue with a status of "In Progress." Seven CAP measures are accomplished and these are noted in green as "Complete." Two CAP measures still require some form of funding or staffing to initiate and these are noted in yellow as "Awaiting Resources." Click the "Learn More" link within the description to learn more about the City's status on implementing each CAP measure.


Climate Action Plan

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

We care about the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) being emitted in Encinitas because it indicates how much our community is contributing to climate change. GHGs naturally occur in the atmosphere and act as a thermal blanket for the Earth. Excessive burning of fossil fuels like gasoline and natural gas release large amounts of GHGs into the atmosphere, which causes excessive atmospheric heating. This process contributes to disruptions in the global climate. Global climate change can cause extreme weather events, such as prolonged droughts and rising sea levels. It can also exacerbate other environmental issues such as ocean acidification and habitat degradation, in addition to negatively impacting human health.


GHGs have a natural heat trapping capacity which varies by gas. Humans produce more carbon dioxide (CO2) than any other GHG. We count emissions of GHGs based on how each GHG's heat trapping capacity compares to the heat trapping capacity of CO2. This standardized metric of GHG emissions is called the "CO2 equivalent" (CO2e). Cities measure GHGs in metric tons of CO2e (MTCO2e).

MTCO2eMetric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent

Climate Action Plan

2012 Emissions Inventory

An emissions inventory helps to understand the source and amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated from various activities occurring in a given area. The City’s 2012 inventory includes the GHG emissions that are within the City’s jurisdictional control and can be readily estimated, monitored, and reduced by City action. Climate science continues to evolve and improve, therefore the year 2012 was selected for the City’s baseline year because it is the oldest year in which reliable and accurate data is available. In 2012, community and municipal activities in the City of Encinitas generated an estimated 459,000 MTCO2e emissions. To put this into perspective, this would be equivalent to burning 51.6 million gallons of gasoline in one year (EPA, 2017).

Climate Action Plan

2020 and 2030 Emissions Targets

With the adoption of the updated Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2020, the City of Encinitas committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 13% in 2020 and 44% by 2030, as compared to 2012 baseline emissions (CAP, 2020). These targets align with—and in the case of our 2030 goal—exceed the statewide GHG emissions targets established by California Assembly Bill 32.

Climate Action Plan

Emissions Reduction Strategies

The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) adopted seven emissions reduction strategies or areas of focus to achieve the greatest benefits. Within these strategies there are 20 CAP measures that the City will implement. By implementing the measures within each strategy and tracking our progress, we can meet our 2020 and 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. Together, the implementation of all CAP measures is expected to reduce emissions by nearly 38,000 MTCO2e. There are also four identified federal and state regulations that are expected to reduce emissions by nearly 94,000 MTCO2e by 2030 (CAP, 2020).

The "wedge diagram" below displays how state and federal programs and measures proposed in the CAP will help Encinitas achieve our GHG emissions reduction targets. The wedge diagram is an interactive tool. Click on one of the strategies in the legend to see its contribution to our GHG emissions reductions.

Climate Action Plan


When the Climate Action Plan (CAP) was initially updated in 2018, the City also developed a comprehensive CAP Implementation Plan which outlines how the City will implement CAP measures and monitor progress. The CAP Implementation Plan serves as a guidance document for City staff. Implementation of certain measures will require the City to develop and implement new ordinances, programs, and projects, or modify existing ones. This will involve careful consideration of the operational and capital resources needed, as well as timing, phasing, and monitoring of implementation. Incorporating social equity into implementation of the CAP and promoting green jobs will also be key to a successful outcome. The CAP Implementation Plan identified several measures the City can take to promote green jobs, including developing a Green Business Program and establishing green job-supporting programs like Community Choice Energy. All progress on CAP implementation will be reported on the City’s Climate Dashboard.


Climate Action Plan

Monitor and Update

Monitoring progress towards greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets involves a two-pronged effort, including 1) Tracking of progress on implementing the Climate Action Plan (CAP), showing trends toward 2020 and 2030 targets and 2) Completing an updated GHG emissions inventory.

The City will complete annual monitoring reports to share progress on CAP actions beginning in 2019. The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will support the City’s monitoring efforts by creating GHG emissions inventories for the City every two years. In December 2018, the City completed an interim progress update. For the latest information on the City’s progress, explore the Climate Dashboard.

CAPs are considered dynamic documents that require regular assessment and updates to ensure effective implementation. Existing actions may become obsolete or ineffective, new technology may inspire new actions, or federal and state regulations may drive change. The City’s CAP will be updated at least every five years to make any necessary adjustments.