Adaptation and Resilience

Energy and Climate Action Plan Measures Addressed: AD-7, PA-61/ AD-4, PA-60/AD-3, PA-26/CE-10, PA-13, PA-14, PA-25, PA-57, PA-58, PA-59

Like most local climate action plans across the United States, Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP) includes little information on climate adaptation or how the city should prepare for the impacts of climate change. The Oakland Climate Action Coalition (OCAC) Resilience and Adaptation Committee is co-chaired by the Pacific Institute and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project. The work of the OCAC Resilience Committee focuses on integrating community adaptation priorities into ongoing local land use planning efforts underway in neighborhoods that stand to be hardest hit by climate change impacts in Oakland. The Committee also works on connecting Oakland residents to the resources and capacity they need to take individual and collective action to build their resiliency to local climate impacts, and to engage in adaptation decision-making to better prepare and protect their communities to weather these impacts. The OCAC Resilience Subcommittee is currently seeking support to:

  • Compile available data on neighborhood-level resources and assets that can be leveraged to build resiliency in Oakland’s vulnerable communities.
  • Document local knowledge of community assets that could be leveraged to build resiliency through community workshops organized with OCAC coalition member organizations
  • Develop, pilot, and assess strategies for engaging residents in Oakland’s vulnerable communities, and advancing community adaptation priorities in existing local land use and adaptation planning processes, namely the Lake Merritt Station Area Planning, Upper Broadway-Valdez Corridor, International Blvd. Corridor, and West Oakland Specific Area plans and Oakland’s ECAP implementation process.

Food Justice

The committee is focused on reducing hunger and neighborhood blight by facilitating Oakland resident initiatives to grow, sell, and share fresh, locally grown foods, while catalyzing a growing green economy that offers healthy edible alternatives in the city’s food insecure neighborhoods. Our work brings diverse community-based groups to the table with policymakers to eliminate disparities and inequities in the most affected areas of Oakland.

Working as a vital link between community organizations, food entrepreneurs, city government, and private and public landholders, we work to support policies that remove legal and financial barriers to community gardens and urban farms. The goal is to expand resident access to vacant lands for local food growing and selling. The committee supports the food justice movement by serving as a social connector to residents, organizations, and coalitions while supporting hands-on projects alongside policy initiatives.

Current efforts are to:

  • Pass a city-wide urban agriculture zoning update in Oakland (In partnership with the Oakland Food Policy Council) to allow food growing for personal consumption and the sale of fresh produce city-wide, eliminate permit fees to start community gardens, and establish clear, transparent processes for community groups and nonprofits to launch their own projects.
  • Pass an equal opportunity city-wide parkland access protocol and process in Oakland through which resident groups and community-based organizations can submit urban garden proposals forapproval by the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Develop the technical capacity to ensure urban garden projects have the funding and resources needed to succeed.

Transportation and Land Use

Energy and Climate Action Plan Measures Addressed: PA-31

Because so much of residents’ greenhouse gas (GHG) production is a result of the amount of driving, the Transportation and Land Use Committee is working on several plans and policies that will help reduce GHG’s through transportation and land use planning opportunities. These include efforts to:

  • Reduce the amount of truck traffic and idling in and around Oakland’s residential neighborhoods.
  • Advocate support for Bus Rapid Transit along Oakland’s major transit corridors, resulting in efficiencies that reduce operations costs, resulting in improving transit while reducing the need for additional service cuts and fare hikes.
  • Ensure that high-density transit-oriented development (TOD) happens at transit hubs (BART Stations and transit centers) and along transit corridors (International Blvd., San Pablo Ave., Macarthur), allowing people to live with less reliance on a private automobile.
  • Ensure any new development and parking policies reflect the city’s transit first policies and provide infrastructure and policies for alternative means of transportation.
  • Work with transit agencies and jurisdictions to restore lost service and to make transit more accessible through restoration of lost service, youth passes, and avoiding fare hikes.
  • Work with the City of Oakland and bicycle and pedestrian advocates to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure that removes barriers to bicyclists and pedestrians from walking or bicycling more as an alternative to driving a car.
  • Ensure that TOD plans and projects create new affordable housing opportunities and include policies that protect existing residents from indirect or direct displacement.
  • Create policies that allow Oakland’s current residents to stay in their current homes by creating stronger rent controls and protections from unjustified evictions and foreclosure proceedings.

Renewable Energy

Energy and Climate Action Plan Measures Addressed: BE-30, BE-31, BE-2

The committee is focused on developing programs to reduce energy consumption and build local clean energy in Oakland. Renewable energy resources abound in the East Bay. When harnessed, they can be a source of economic development and jobs for our communities, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We see the development of local energy resources (both demand reduction and new generation) as key to growing sustainable business, advancing social equity, and promoting community resilience.

Our current efforts are to:

  • Organize a major campaign, the Clean Energy & Jobs Oakland campaign, to establish, in conjunction with other East Bay cities, a Community Choice energy program for Oakland that provides community benefits to residents and businesses of our city. Community Choice allows a community to determine where its electricity will come from. It is a vehicle for developing local renewable resources in a way that provides for greenhouse gas reductions, local economic development, clean energy jobs, the lowering of electricity bills, creation and retention of wealth within the community, greater community resilience, especially to those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and other benefits to the community. See
  • Advocate for energy efficiency upgrade programs to be accessible to low-income residents and renters.