Owner/Client:      Yolo County Planning and Public Works Department

Yolo County’s Climate Action Plan provides GHG reduction strategies and CEQA streamlining for future development projects in Yolo County. The Climate Action Plan included preparation of historic (1990) and current (2008) GHG inventories along with future year projections for 2020, 2030, and 2050 broken down by emissions sector. GHG reduction measures for the County covered transportation and land use, energy efficiency, solid waste, wastewater, water conservation, and agriculture. This document included the most robust quantification of the agricultural sector that had been prepared to date. Methods were derived from approaches used by the California Air Resources Board in preparation of California’s inventory and developed in conjunction with researchers at UC Davis to quantify GHG levels from agricultural activities in the county. This process revealed that agriculture-related emission levels decreased between 1990 and 2008 due to changes in local agriculture that had already occurred (e.g., reduction in fertilizer use, conversion of diesel-fueled pumps to solar power, drip irrigation, replacement of row crops with orchards). This allowed the Climate Action Plan to account for these credits and focus future reduction measures on other emission sectors (e.g., transportation, energy and water consumption). Ascent’s work also revealed that, on a per-acre basis, operation of farmland is 100 times less GHG intensive than land developed for urban uses. Ascent also assisted in CEQA review for the Climate Action Plan to provide streamlining benefits for future development projects.


  • 2012 Innovation in Green Community Planning Merit Award, Sacramento Valley Section - American Planning Association