County Resolutions to Reducing Energy, Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

San Mateo is a Cool County

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors adopted the Cool Counties Declaration (Staff Report & Resolution) on October 16, 2007. The declaration requires county government to calculate its carbon footprint, inventory the county's current conservation activities and develop and implement a carbon emissions reduction plan. The declaration also includes regional carbon dioxide emission reduction targets: an end to increased emissions by 2010 and an 80% reduction from current levels by 2050. Part of calculating the carbon footprint is to create an inventory of operational county government greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Cool Counties work stems from the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty on global warming, that recognizes the affect on the climate by CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. The Protocol was negotiated in 1997 and ratified in February 2005, with the United States as a notable exception. In October 2005, 182 Mayors representing nearly 40 million Americans committed to the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to "meet or exceed" the Kyoto Protocol goals of 5.2% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2010 from the 1990 levels.


Previous Board Action:

This Board has taken several actions over the past few years to reduce energy consumption and improve air quality in the County, including:

  • 1992: Established the Commute Alternatives Program, which provides a subsidy to encourage our employees to use mass transit instead of single occupant vehicles in commuting to work;

  • 1995: Approved the County's participation in the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Lights Program to improve the energy efficiency of the County Buildings;

  • 2000: Adopted an ordinance that regulates the use of certain fuels in wood burning stoves and fireplaces;

  • 2001: Adopted the Sustainable Building Policy, which requires that new County buildings be designed and constructed to the highest practicable Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards;

  • 2002: Adopted a Clean Vehicles Procurement policy, which requires consideration of acquisition of the lowest emission vehicles for the County fleet, with the exception of public safety and emergency vehicles; and

  • 2002: Adopted a Recycling and Diversion Ordinance for Construction and Demolition Debris that calls for deconstruction and recycling of construction materials in the unincorporated areas of San Mateo County.

  • 2005: Authorized participation in the Sustainable Silicon Valley Initiative. This is an commitment to lower carbon dioxide emissions in county government operations by reducing energy and fuel consumption. Resolution

  • 2007: Adopted Cool Counties Resolution (Memo & Resolution)

  • 2007: Adopted the establishment of a construction waste management policy for County facilities, encouraging deconstruction, reuse and recycling when conducting construction work.

  • 2008: Adopted County Energy Strategy. The Strategy defines practical actions for the cities and the County related to energy, water, alternative generation, and climate protection. It also recommends specific steps to take towards energy efficiency.

Diagrams showing emissions by sector, as of 2005, in the county government, the unincorporated areas of the county, and countywide.

County Government Operations Emissions.

Unincorporated Community Emissions.

Countywide Emissions.