Mountain View’s  Climate Plan

Mountain View’s Climate Plan

California set ambitious climate goals with bills like SB 350.  In Mountain View’s case this means a 37% reduction in GHG, s comparing 2030 levels to 2005 levels.   Cities and county governments must translate these goals into climate plans.  Mountain View’s ESTF-2 (Environmental Sustainability Task Force) took on this task.

The first ESTF met 10 years ago and assembled a 300+ page report with 82 climate recommendations. ESTF-1 forms the basis of current environmental climate plans in Mountain View.

Times change, and Mountain View needs a new ESTF. Ten months ago,
Mountain View formed ESTF-2 with 30 people. The ESTF-2 recently delivered their report to the City Council. The report is over 300 pages but has only 36 climate recommendations.

What are the categories?

–              Buildings and Land Use
–              Mobility / Transportation
–              Circular Economy
–              Outreach
–              Metrics

Heat pump Space Heater
Heat Pump Space Heaters are the way to convert electricity to heat
The Electric Scooter, personal transportation
Impossible burger
The taste of meat for those on a plant based diet

How will we know if we are meeting our climate goals?

To manage something, you need to measure it. The team included numeric goals for GHG and cos wherever possible. At the end the team totaled the GHG savings. Yes, we can meet the goal of the 37% GHG reduction by 2030.

We measure GHG and costs on a yearly basis. This provides feedback in time to act. If we find a cost-effective method to reduce GHGs, we can do more of it.  We can change when we are not decreasing GHG levels as needed.

electric smart meter
The electric smart meter, how we measure what we use

 Who was on the ESTF-2 team?

Mountain View has many people who are knowledgeable and active managing climate change. Some are college professors. Others are active in city government. Others are part of advocacy groups and nonprofits.

Steve Attinger is Mountain View’s sustainability leader.  Hannah Perkins joined Steve’s group at the start of the ESTF process.

The leader of ESTF-2, Bruce Karney, took on the challenge of leading this group after leading ESTF-1 ten years ago.   A complete list of the people who contributed to ESTF-2 is in the full report.

Task Force
Group picture of the task force

What are the top 12 recommendations?

1. Create a new sustainability office with more staff
2. Revolutionize transportation in Mountain View
3. Adopt a decarbonizing policy for buildings.
4. Manage Mountain View’s emissions budget as carefully as
its financial budget
5. Solve the local solo-trip problem: Pilot discounted pooled ridesharing
6.  Adopt a Consumption Based emissions inventory
7. Create financial and non-financial incentives for new above code buildings
8. Implement a residential and business outreach function
9. Update the Green Building Code towards low carbon buildings.
10. Set GHG targets to per capita goals based on the service population
11. Adopt a city-wide ban on single use disposable plastic food ware
12. Solve the local solo-trip problem: Mountain View Shuttle 2.0 and 3.0.

Where can I find the full climate plan?

There is a web page for the climate plan here (1). This page also contains the Executive Summary (2).

What are key features of the ESTF-2 Climate plan?

The ESTF-2 climate plan has measurable recommendations. We can then manage them.

The ESTF2 climate plan has fewer recommendations.   We can better see the relationship between recommendations.

ESTF 2 has a section on the circular economy.  This includes disposable food ware, and a circular economy GHG inventory.  This is a new area. It will increase in importance as we address standard GHG sources like transportation and buildings.

ESTF2 recognizes the need to electrify all energy use. We can consider this now since Silicon Valley Clean Energy provides 100% Carbon Free electricity.  This means fully electric buildings and a fully electric transportation system.

ESTF2 talks ab out a revolution in transportation. It is not enough to just electrify our transportation system. We need to move to multi occupancy transportation that people want to use.

We also need better access to personal transportation including walking, biking, scooters, etc.  These options must be safe and time efficient.

ESTF-2 has the advantage of more measurement data than was available in 2008. We have measurements for 2005, 2010, and 2015.  Recently we received data for 2017. Annual data collecting has begun.

How did we check what we are doing with the public?

First we have had several sessions with citizens as we progressed through the process of working on these recommendations. Second, we conducted a survey of 961 people who were either worked or lived in Mountain View.  The survey covered items like commute times and distances, transportation preferences and general demographics. This data helped to decide on the shape of recommendations. It will continue to be used to refine policies.

Outreach committee
Greeting committee for an outreach event

What are some of the next steps in the process?

Steve Attinger, Mountain View’s sustainability leader, is reviewing these recommendations. He will provide a review in the fall.  Some items with high urgency may be funded at that time. The budget cycle for the next year starts in March. That will be the time when more recommendations are added.

Can the public still be part of this process?

Yes.  Many of these recommendations will take years to fully implement.  The climate advisory group Carbon Free Mountain View (CFMV) helped initiate ESTF-2. Many of the members of CFMV were part of ESTF-2. The plan for ESTF-2 has been submitted. This means it is time to reactivate CFMV to keep the process going.  Go to

ESTF2 Web Page (1)

Executive Summary (2)