The Cost of a CAP Part 6: Limitations

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Part of understanding climate action plan (CAP) cost analyses results includes identifying what is not incorporated into the analyses. CAP implementation cost analyses (ICAs) and benefit-cost analyses (BCAs) described in earlier posts have inherent limitations that can create a level of uncertainty. This post concludes our CAP cost analyses series by identifying key limitations as they relate to: data availability, benefit and cost ranges, scope of the analysis, timeframes considered, and GHG methodologies.

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The Cost of a CAP Part 5: The Cost (or Benefit) to Participate

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How is this CAP going to impact my constituents? Jurisdictions who are in the process of adopting or updating their climate action plans (CAPs) are concerned with more just the budgetary impacts and overall cost-effectiveness of CAP measures. There is a great deal of interest in understanding who will be directly impacted by a measure and how. In a previous post, I discussed EPIC’s benefit-cost analysis (BCA) framework for CAPs. This post will address the second of the two questions asked in a BCA: what are the financial impacts to those who participate in CAP measure activities? It will discuss who the participants are in CAP measures, how to identify them and their respective benefits and/or costs, and what results are best to show.

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The Cost of a CAP Part 4: Emissions Bang for Your Buck

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Which measures should we include in our City’s CAP? Should we prioritize some over others? Which measures are, in terms of cost, the best for us to implement, while still achieving our GHG reduction goals? However jurisdiction staff phrase the question, what they are really hinting at is: how cost-effective are climate action plan (CAP) measures at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? The previous post in this series provided the general framework for climate action plan (CAP) benefit-cost analyses (BCAs). Here, we take a deeper look at the first component of a CAP BCA – evaluating the cost-effectiveness of CAP measures. This post will discuss what cost-effectiveness results mean in the context of a CAP and its target years, best-practices for viewing results, and challenges when comparing results between multiple CAPs.

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The Cost of a CAP Part 3: The Benefits and Costs of CAP Measures

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What measures will get us the biggest emissions bang for our buck?  How much will these measures cost residents and businesses in our city? These are the two questions we hear most often. A climate action plan (CAP) benefit-cost analysis (BCA) addresses both of these questions, providing insights into the cost-effectiveness of CAP measures and the financial impacts to those who are directly involved in CAP activities. This is the third post in our series of CAP cost analyses; the first post provided an introduction to CAP cost analyses and, in the second, EPIC director Scott Anders provided greater details on CAP implementation cost analyses. Here we will discuss an approach to CAP BCAs developed by EPIC, including: perspectives to consider, types of benefits and costs to include, and metrics to calculate.

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The Cost of a CAP Part 2: How Much is This Climate Action Plan Going to Cost Our City?

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More and more, local jurisdiction staff, decision makers, and stakeholders are interested in the cost of implementing climate action plan measures and actions. We are often asked by local jurisdiction officials some form of the question: how much is thing going to cost us? The first post in this series by EPIC Technical Policy Analyst Marc Steele presented an overall summary of climate action plan (CAP) cost analyses and outlined three questions we are trying to answer. This post focuses on the implementation costs analysis (ICA), which answers the first of those questions: What is the budgetary impact to a local jurisdiction to implement CAP measures? It begins by defining the ICA and then discusses the types of costs evaluated, when an ICA can occur in the climate planning process, and considerations for evaluating CAP implementation costs.

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The Cost of a CAP: Monetary impacts of local GHG reduction measures

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More and more cities in California are developing Climate Action Plans (CAPs). During our climate action planning work with cities, we repeatedly hear questions from the public and city staff about costs. How much is this climate action plan going to cost the city, and by extension taxpayers? Which measures get us the biggest emissions bang for our buck? What’s the bottom line? What are the financial impacts to homeowners and businesses? These questions have merit—after all, it is important to understand who will be financially impacted by a city’s policies and actions. In response, the Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC), in partnership with the San Diego Association of Government’s Energy Roadmap Program, has developed a method for evaluating the cost implications of CAPs. This post, the first in a series to describe these methods, summarizes the basics of CAP cost analyses and provides context for the material covered in future posts.

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Litigation Update: Latest Round of Litigation Filed over County of San Diego CAP and General Plan Update Amendment

On March 16, 2018, the Sierra Club and several other environmental and climate oriented organizations (Petitioners) filed a Writ of Mandate in San Diego Superior Court against the County of San Diego.  The Writ challenges the County of San Diego’s February 14, 2018 adoption of its:

  • Revised Climate Action Plan (CAP);
  • Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (EIR);
  • Guidelines and new Thresholds that determine whether a project’s Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emission are significant or insignificant under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); and
  • Under the Guidelines, an allowance for a project that requests a General Plan amendment (GPA project) to be found consistent with the Revised CAP if the project incorporates design features from the Guideline Checklist and uses post project approval GHG offsets from a geographic priority list—approved at the discretion of the Director of Planning and Development Services—for GHG emissions not prevented by the incorporated Checklist design features.

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