Climate Ready Fremont: An Update to the Climate Action Plan
Centrally located and serving as the eastern anchor of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, Fremont is the fourth largest city in the Bay Area and prides itself on being a vibrant and strategically urban community. Previously an agricultural area comprised of five small townships, Fremont has developed into a technological and advanced manufacturing hub that captures modern living at its best and boasts one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse populations in the Bay Area.
The City of Fremont (City) has long been a leader in sustainability. Fremont was one of the first cities to incorporate sustainability in its General Plan in a significant way: sustainability serves as the first element and the central theme throughout the General Plan and puts forth a vision for Fremont to “serve as a national model of how an auto-oriented suburb can evolve into a sustainable, strategically urban, modern city.” The City’s 2012 Climate Action Plan (CAP) established a roadmap for achieving the sustainability vision of the General Plan through the implementation of local measures that together would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent from a 2005 baseline level by the year 2020.
Adoption of the first CAP accelerated the City’s efforts related to energy and water use efficiency, renewable energy deployment, clean and multimodal transportation infrastructure, waste reduction and pollution prevention, and sustainable land use planning. Through a combination of the City’s local implementation efforts paired with technology advancements and state and federal policy changes, the City achieved a 24 percent GHG reduction by 2018. Recognizing the need to update its GHG target, in 2019, the City adopted a Carbon Neutrality Resolution for Fremont to achieve a 55 percent GHG emission reduction from a 2005 baseline level by the year 2030 and to become a carbon neutral city no later than 2045.
As part of the Carbon Neutrality Resolution, the City developed a Post-Carbon Framework to guide an update to the City’s first Climate Action Plan. This document, titled Climate Ready Fremont, serves as the City’s new plan for becoming a carbon neutral community. The Post-Carbon Framework establishes the following guiding values that serve as the foundation of Climate Ready Fremont:
- Equity & Access: Ensure that all people have the opportunity to benefit equally from climate solutions, while not taking on an unequal burden of climate impacts
- Efficiency & Innovation: Promote the efficient use of resources and the adoption of clean and climate-smart technologies and techniques
- Health & Wellness: Safeguard and enhance the ability of the community to live, work, play, connect, and thrive in a healthy social and physical environment
- Resiliency & Capacity-Building: Provide education and training on the opportunities offered by a more resilient future and encourage sustainable behaviors across all sectors of the community
In addition, the Post-Carbon Framework identifies seven key strategies that are incorporated throughout Climate Ready Fremont. Climate Ready Fremont has two overarching objectives:
- To reduce GHG emissions from local activities to achieve GHG reduction targets
- To build community resilience to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change
The plan presents mitigation and adaptation strategies, measures, and actions that, in combination, aim to achieve an interim GHG reduction target of 55 percent by 2030 (from a 2005 baseline year) as well as prepare the City for climatic changes that are already underway. The measures presented in Climate Ready Fremont have been analyzed to quantify their GHG emission reduction potential for the target years 2030 and 2045. Figure S-2 shows the community emissions by sector for 2018 and the GHG emission reductions to be achieved by Climate Ready Fremont measures. Figure S-2 displays the City’s achievement of the 2030 target with the GHG reduction measures and demonstrates progress towards the City’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045.