The Contra Costa County Climate Leaders (4CL) program is a network assisting the county and its 19 cities to inform, support and encourage the measurement and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Through education and sharing of best practices we will ensure sustainable, healthy and livable cities.


Richmond Accomplishments:

General Plan Update

  • The Richmond General Plan of 2030 was approved in April 2012. It includes elements on Community Health and Wellness, Energy and Climate Change, Open Space preservation

Climate Action Planning

  • In 2008,  Richmond passed a resolution committing the City to reduce its GHG emissions by the targets as set forth by AB 32, lowering its GHG emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
  • Incorporated an Energy and Climate Change element into their General Plan. The element provides policy direction for Richmond to protect its energy resources and respond to climate change.
  • In 2009, Richmond completed its greenhouse gas emissions inventory.
  • The City of Richmond is proactive about protecting against climate change and their website has a page on reasons why they want to make a difference.


  • The City offers residents and businesses the option of opting into the MCE Clean Energy Program (the State’s only operating Community Choice Aggregation program) where customers can have 50% to 100% of their electricity supplied from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydroelectric or bioenergy.
  • The City is in the process of upgrading 7,500 street lights to energy efficiency LED technology and installing an additional 3,000 lights in under-lit communities to improve community safety and health.
  • Richmond offers qualifying low-income residents the Contra Costa County Weatherization Program which provides free weatherization home improvements.
  • Richmond’s Green Civic Center incorporates several different green building strategies including, elimination of water intensive turf areas and subsequent introduction of drought resistant vegetation, the use of certified sustainable wood and other recycled-content construction materials.
  • The City boasts two solar Photovoltaic systems: on the roofs of the Civic Center and the Main Library.
  • The City has partnered with Richmond Farm 2 Table in order to increase access to fresh, healthy produce for Richmond residents.
  • In partnership with Rising Sun Energy, Richmond has created the Green Energy Training Services (GETS) program to help increase energy efficiency and lower utility bills.
  • Richmond has joined the Marin Energy Authority, a Community Choice Aggregate that allows consumers to choose more renewable forms of energy.
  • The City joined the Urban Environmental Accords, a group of more than 100 municipalities worldwide to build a more ecologically sustainable future.
  • The City of Richmond Environmental Sustainability Team (CREST) was created to coordinate strategies to achieve these Accords.
  • Richmond adopted an “Environmentally Preferable Purchasing” practice which is the purchasing of products and services that have a reduced effect on environmental and human health.
  • The Richmond City Council adopted a green building ordinance in 2010 which mandates the incorporation of green building measures in construction projects.
  • The City of Richmond became a certified “Green Business” under Contra Costa County’s Green Business Program in 2009.
  • Planned with the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville to create a “green corridor” to create green jobs in their city.
  • RichmondBUILD was started to reduce violence and teach construction skills and Green Energy Training for renewable energy industries.
  • Each summer the city of Richmond partners with Rising Sun to employ Richmond Youth and trains them to do door-to-door energy efficiency inspections and to install free energy and water saving equipment.
  • Richmond offered a rebate program called “R3” or the Richmond Recovery Rebate in which residents receive rebates for energy upgrades and solar installations.

Waste Reduction

  • Adopted a plastic bag ban ordinance which went into effect January 2014.
  • Sponsor various coastal cleanups and collected over 5.5 tons of debris in 2010.
  • Richmond received a grant from the West Contra Costa Waste Management Authority to fund the “Greening Richmond City Offices” project in which Richmond city staff improved recycling infrastructure, providing recycling educations, and implementing a composting and gardening program.
  • Offering a curbside pick-up of residential compostable food scraps.

Water Conservation

  • The city is working to improve water conservation through the conservation element of their general plan.


  • Richmond completed an Urban Agricultural Assessment in 2011, which looks at the potential for urban agriculture to provide an equitable food system.
  • The city hosts two farmers markets weekly through summer.
  • The Richmond Police Department switched their police- motorcycle contract to lease more fuel-efficient, clean-burning bikes.

Open Space

  • The City of Richmond has organized Free Tree Giveaways where residents can pick up trees to take home.
  • Sixty-six acres at Breuner Marsh in Point Pinole Regional Park will be restored and have public access due to $1 million of federal grants and $1.4 million from the local park district match.

Community Support

  • In 2008,  Richmond became a signatory of the Urban Environmental Accords, a promise of over a 100 cities working to make sustainable decisions that benefit the community, the economy and the environment. Richmond has accomplished 14 of the 21 actions stated in the Accords.
  • Richmond Rivets, or Transition Richmond, is an environmental initiative to combat climate change.
  • The City was chosen was the preferred site for the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and UC Berkeley Bay Campus which will focus on biological sciences and renewable energy research.
  • Citizens for East Shore Parks is a community group working to restore and protect open spaces along the shores from Oakland through to Richmond.

City of Richmond website.

Last updated June 2014


The City of Richmond is a leader in environmental health and justice initiatives.  Whether it’s through our new sustainability-focused General Plan, our bike and pedestrian pathways, our community gardens, our clean-tech businesses, our solar & energy efficiency rebates or our award-winning green job training program, the City of Richmond is transforming itself into a 21st Century city reversing the profound environmental and social ills of the past century.

Gayle McLaughlin, Councilmember and former Mayor, City of Richmond, CA