Marin and Sonoma are neighboring California counties located in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area. Marin is known for its natural beauty, Sonoma for its agriculture, and particularly for its wine production. The two counties have a combined population of around 750 thousand people, with Sonoma having about two thirds of that. Sonoma and Marin are some of the richest and most expensive counties in the United States with Marin #8 on CNBC’s list of America’s richest counties. They are both extremely diverse ecologically, home to ocean beaches, salt marshes, coastal scrub, grasslands, chaparral, redwood forest, and oak and pine forests.

Due to climate change, the Bay’s sea level has increased by 8 inches in the last 100 years. In 2015-2016, El Nino storms created waves with more than 50% more energy than average, causing unprecedented beach erosion, compounding the effects of sea level rise. The Bay is also experiencing more “boom and bust” rain cycles with very wet and very dry years. Although the drought in 2015-2016 forced moisture levels down to the lowest it’s been in 1,000 years, Marin and Sonoma are still seeing extreme flooding exacerbated by storm surges, as well as sea level rise. Floods and storms are causing significant damage not just to public and private property, but to beaches, wetlands, and riparians areas already under attack by the changing climate. Storm surges have caused overflow at wastewater treatment facilities, which can spill into the sea harming people and wildlife alike. Storms and rising seas also threaten electrical grids and natural gas pipelines bringing greater socioeconomic and health inequality.

The Bay Area which Marin and Sonoma are a part of are also already experiencing a significant rise in temperature and the harmful effects that follow such a rise. Since 1950, the temperature  has risen by 1.7°F creating more energy usage, even along the traditionally cool coast. This increase in energy usage leads to adverse health effects from increased pollution and disease.

What’s more, over the past 80 years, the Bay Area has seen steadily more large fires with no end in sight. Fires are devastating to threatened upland birds, mammals and amphibians. The combination of changing rain cycles, temperatures, and fire frequency is causing animals to get out of sync with their environments, leading to population declines.

Through 2016, Marin’s Climate Action Plan created a 21% reduction of emissions below 1990 levels and continues to implement programs to lessen its carbon footprint. The county has a webpage called Drawdown: Marin providing information to county residents about Marin’s actions to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In early 2020, Marin hosted a community workshop and meeting for the Marin Climate Action Plan update, during which citizens helped identify the county’s path forward with a vision towards 2030 and beyond.

Marin County was also the first in the state to enroll all of its county and city accounts in Marin Clean Energy’s, a 100% renewable electricity program begun in October of 2018. Marin Clean Energy supplies customers with 50% to 100% renewable energy as a green alternative to PG&E. Marin Clean Energy has three energy packages so customers can choose how their energy is generated. The least sustainable plan uses 60% renewables, and the other two plans use 100% renewable energy. Marin consumes 51% of its energy in non-residential sectors and 49% in the residential sector.

Sonoma’s climate plan, Climate Action 2020 and Beyond, is focused on putting the county on a path towards a goal of emissions at 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The plan also provides information about local climate hazards and what Sonoma County communities can do to adapt. The plan attacks greenhouse gas emissions in a multitude of ways, focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy use, reduction of travel demand, low carbon transportation, capture of methane from landfills, recycled water use, reduced livestock emissions, sustainable agriculture, and even carbon sequestration. Sonoma’s Regional Climate Protection Authority is helping the county reach its goals by leading plan implementation and supporting local actions through grant funding, research, technical assistance, outreach, and education

87% of eligible electricity users in Sonoma use Sonoma Clean Power, a non-profit public agency based in Santa Rosa, Sonoma’s largest city, supplying them with 42% hydroelectric energy, 23% wind power, 18% geothermal, 7.6% solar, and 10% biomass combined with power from California’s main power grid. The rest of Sonoma’s residents rely on Pacific Gas and Electric’s power, which uses 78% clean energy. Sonoma’s energy goes to 57% non-residential uses and 43% residential uses

In Sonoma County, a plea for action on climate change as fires rage


The Bay Area is going electric for furnaces and water heaters

By Maxine Joselow and Vanessa Montalbano 03/16/23
Bay Area officials voted to adopt landmark rules phasing out gas appliances. Yesterday, officials in the San Francisco Bay Area approved the nation’s first rules phasing out new natural-gas-powered water heaters and furnaces.
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Agencies Announce Commitment To Create Climate-Resilient Highway 37

By Maggie Fusek 02/08/23
State and local agencies announced a partnership agreement Wednesday and a suite of commitments to implement near-term improvements to the San Francisco Bay Area’s state Highway 37 while pursuing long-term projects to create a more…
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Ground zero: Rain brings little relief to California’s depleted groundwater

By Alastair Bland 02/07/23
Communities, largely home to low-income Latino residents, still have dry wells. Restoring groundwater takes decades, with costly, long-term replenishment projects — and ultimately, much less pumping.
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Sonoma’s new Climate Action Commission meet for first time to address Draft Climate Action Plan

By Rebecca Wolff 02/06/23
The commission will advise the council on issues related to reducing greenhouse gasses from the city’s municipal, residential, commercial and industrial sectors and on adapting to climate change within the city’s jurisdiction.
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Harnessing the Earth’s Thermal Potential for Energy

On Jan. 6, 2023, Silicon Valley Power (SVP) and the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) signed a set of long-term Power Purchase Agreements with the Geysers Power Company, LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Calpine Corporation,…
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Healdsburg floating solar—a good idea then and now

By Merrilyn Joyce 01/23/23
“When the City of Healdsburg unveiled our floating solar project in 2021, it was the largest floating solar project in the United States, generating about 8% of the City’s electricity needs. Not only did our…
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To Kalon: Napa Valley’s star vineyard gets organic certification

By Stacy Slinkard 01/20/23
To Kalon, a vineyard regarded as California’s crown jewel thanks to its enduring renown for producing world-class, top-scoring Cabernet Sauvignon, has secured its legendary status with organic certification.
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California storms bring more heavy rain, flooding and power outages

By Emma Bowman 01/15/23
Rounds of heavy rain, wind and snow are battering California once again, prompting flood alerts and power outages in several regions.
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Climate change in Sonoma County: Who’s doing what about it?

By Connie Madden 01/04/23
Many people avoid talking about climate change, scared of its dire consequences and not aware of positive actions across the world, the country and in Sonoma County. We make a difference.
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Sonoma County adopts updated state building codes with local amendments

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted this week to adopt the California Model Building Codes, which includes requiring the use of electric appliances exclusively in most new residential construction.
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Marin, Sonoma clean power providers gearing up for rate hikes in 2023

By Susan Wood 12/08/22
The North Bay’s two primary sources of clean energy plan to raise rates starting next year.
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The befouling of Point Reyes National Seashore

By Peter Byrne 11/16/22
It’s an October morning at Point Reyes National Seashore and I’m scooting under barbed wire fences, wary of sliding into cow pies. 
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San Rafael Climate Change Action Plan 2030

San Rafael has a rich history of climate action and environmental protection. Mayor Al Boro signed on to the Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement in 2006.

Climate Action 2020 and Beyond

Climate Action 2020 and Beyond builds on prior commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a community-wide climate action plan (CAP) for all communities in Sonoma County. The regional framework creates an efficient and consistent…

Renewable Energy

The County of Sonoma has adopted changes to the Zoning Code that enable the construction and use of renewable energy facilities throughout the county, while protecting sensitive resources and ensuring neighborhood compatibility. These changes became…


Welcome to the county climate action plan workshop

2019 was the second hottest year on record.

California electricity commission

Electricity Consumption by County.


Marin County is a vulnerable community when it comes to climate change, particularly due to rising sea levels, changing storm patterns, and fragile ecosystems. Marin is already experiencing the effects of extreme flooding, exacerbated by…

MCE is excited to welcome Solano County residents and businesses

In April 2020, MCE will become the primary electricity provider for unincorporated Solano County. We hope to meet you in person at one of our Solano Community Meetings. Options to attend meetings remotely and access…

Making a Difference in Your World

We’re working to solve climate change. For you. For families. For businesses. For everybody. From providing clean energy to pilot programs for energy saving technologies, we’ve got options that make a difference in your life.…

Environmental Organizations

CAFE is a non-profit {501(c)3} education, advocacy and research organization serving the North Coast region of California.Our primary mission is to educate, engage and empower the public regarding sustainability and the environment.


Sustainable Marin is a non-profit organization of volunteers who advocate and educate about sustainability at the County level in Marin.

Energy and Sustainability

The Energy and Sustainability Division is part of the General Services Department of the County of Sonoma. This division is responsible for planning, evaluating and administering the County-wide Energy Management and Sustainability Program.

Sonoma County Commits To Becoming The First 100% Sustainable Wine Region In The Nation In 2019

In January 2014, Sonoma County Winegrowers announced it would become the nation’s first 100% certified sustainable wine region. The Sonoma County Sustainability Program helps to preserve agriculture and multi-generational family farms. Sonoma County is largely…


Sonoma County town backs off natural gas ban

By Cathryn Reed   01/07/21  
The Windsor Town Council on Wednesday evening rescinded an ordinance banning natural gas in new residential construction rather than fight a lawsuit brought by two developers.
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Push for decarbonizing California Wine Country meets construction industry resistance to natural gas limits

By Kathryn Reed   01/05/21  
In the march to power California without fossil fuels by 2045, the choice by some cities to ban natural gas has lit the fuse on a battle pitting environmental groups against developers, involving not only…
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New park & open space preserve Carrington Coast Ranch coming to Sonoma coast

On December 29, 2020, the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space), a special district dedicated to protecting our working and natural lands forever, transferred ownership of a 335-acre coastal…
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New Park And Open Space Preserve Coming To Sonoma Coast

The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space), a special district dedicated to protecting our working and natural lands forever, transferred ownership of a 335-acre coastal property to Sonoma County…
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California State Senator Bill Dodd Introduces Power Grid Planning Bill

Sen. Bill Dodd, D-napa, On Tuesday Announced New Legislation To Ensure California Plans For Continuous Electricity During Wildfire-driven Power Outages Dodd Bill California State Senatorwithout Relying On Fossil Fuel-powered Backup Generation.
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Study documents decline of California sea turtles

By Hannah Hagemann   12/29/20  
The number of leatherback turtles that feed in central California waters has declined by 80% during the last two decades, according to new research released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Moss…
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Creating a More Just Climate Future for Those on the Front Lines

By Jessica Grannis   12/21/20  
The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act is the first major bill to prioritize racial equity in addressing the climate crisis. It takes important steps to advance equitable solutions for addressing climate threats to frontline communities of…
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Sonoma County Climate Summit: Not just a global issue

By Natasha Senteney   12/18/20  
I walk around my room, bag in hand, collecting all of the garbage I’ve been too lazy to clean up for the past week, the past month, the past year—cleaning is not my strong suit.…
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Marin Voice: Teen environmental leaders share suggestions to slow climate change

By Finn Marti and Jack Rosenthal   12/17/20  
Climate change is an extremely large topic, and it can easily feel like there are no simple actions we can take as individuals that will actually make a difference. As members of Generation Z born…
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Bay Area energy tracking tool could aid Marin climate change efforts

By Will Houston   12/09/20  
Marin County officials say a first-of-its-kind tool to track energy use in Bay Area communities could advance efforts to reduce local energy use — and residents’ bills — while working to meet the county’s ambitious…
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Marin Voice: Buying clean energy a meaningful action to protect our children

By Susannah Saunders   11/27/20  
There is nothing stronger than the love we have for our children. While little, we read to them every night, carefully provide a healthy diet and make sure they get the best education. If they…
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How Wine Country is Adapting to Climate Change

By Urmila Ramakrishnan   11/23/20  
In September of 2015, Cecilia Enriquez sold the Petaluma estate of her family's winery, Enriquez Estate Winery, in order to purchase a new property in the Russian River Valley. The following year, they were "rocking…
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Novato declares climate change emergency

By Will Houston   11/17/20  
The Novato City Council has declared a climate emergency and plans to hold community workshops to develop new strategies on how to cut the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. The emergency declaration, adopted unanimously on Tuesday,…
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How wine country became the epicenter for fires in California

By Joseph Serna   09/29/20  
Perhaps no part of California has felt more threatened by fire in recent years than the vast expanse of wine country and the Redwood Empire north of San Francisco. More than 9,000 structures were lost…
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Glass Fire: New evacuation order issued for area just west of Calistoga

By Alanea Cremen   09/29/20  
A new evacuation order has been issued for some residents living just to the west of Calistoga, Tuesday night. According to Cal Fire, the order is in place for “all areas west of SR29/128 (Foothill…
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As California wildfires rage, the harvest goes on

By Teresa Cotsirilos   09/22/20  
A week after the Walbridge Fire started in Northern California in mid-August, I met Ezekiel “Zeke” Guzman at 11 p.m. in a deserted McDonald’s parking lot. Soon, we were driving through the backroads of Sonoma…
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‘Is This Real Life?’ A Wall of Fire Robs a Russian River Town of its Nonchalance

By Evelyn Nieves   08/20/20  
Days before the raging wildfire threatening to destroy western Sonoma County started, the big worry among Guerneville residents was that our little town might just be too popular. Tourists from all over the San Francisco…
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By Bonner. R Cohen   02/03/20  
Officials in Irvine, California are inviting four other Orange County municipalities to join their city in a comprehensive government-run electric power management scheme known as a community choice aggregation or community choice energy.
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Pg&E Plan To Limit Blackouts Clashes With Clean Energy Groups

By J.D. Morris   01/28/20  
An effort by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to limit the reach of its planned fire-prevention blackouts this year is drawing resistance from some clean-energy groups who fear the utility’s plan will rely too heavily…
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Petaluma signs solar deal

By Matt Brown   01/24/20  
Petaluma entered into the city’s first solar power purchase agreement, ending a nine-month effort to reach a deal that will add solar panels to four city properties and save taxpayers $2.9 million over 20 years…
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Another California School District Eyes Microgrid in Response to Wildfire Shutoffs

By Ethan Howland   01/15/20  
Responding to wildfire-related power outages, a California school district has hired CleanSpark to study the feasibility of building a microgrid.
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Marin Sanitary looks to turn trash into power as business changes rapidly

By Chase Difeliciantonio   11/14/19  
The waste business isn’t what it used to be. If you ask Marin Sanitary Service President and CEO Patty Garbarino however, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “It would seem as though it would be…
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Code changes coming, builders worry

By Jeff Quackenbush   10/17/19  
Homebuilders in the North Bay and elsewhere in California will have several significant new requirements in 2020 for protecting structures from wildfires and reducing the projected impact of dwellings on the environment.
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Sonoma County grape growers reach goal for sound farming, tackle climate change next

By Guy Kovner   09/13/19  
Sonoma County wine grape growers said Thursday they had reached a goal in committing to sound farming practices and are launching a campaign to curb agriculture’s contribution to climate change. The 1,800-member Sonoma County Winegrowers…
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Sonoma County flooding in 2019 caused $56 million in public infrastructure damage

By Tyler Silvy   09/12/19  
Recovery cost estimates for Sonoma County infrastructure from February’s flooding have more than doubled, reaching $56 million and ratcheting up the taxpayer tab to $14 million, according to the latest estimates used by the county…
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Sonoma County airport to go 100% renewable energy with solar canopy

By Kevin Fixler   09/11/19  
Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport is going solar, joining a growing number of commercial airfields across the country that are putting up panels and plugging into green energy sources to reduce power costs and put…
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What’s makes an energy resource “renewable?”

RENEWABLES — Sonoma Clean Power is on track to meet the state goal of 50 percent renewable by 2026, and its electricity is 91 percent carbon free. State regulations don’t allow Sonoma Clean Power or…
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PG&E is still the county’s energy giant

By Mary Fricker   08/09/19  
Even though 87 percent of eligible electricity users in Sonoma and Mendocino counties have decided to let Sonoma Clean Power buy their power, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is still the energy giant in the…
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Sonoma Clean Power: Can it deliver a clean energy future?

By Mary Fricker   08/08/19  
Can Sonoma Clean Power 'turn the tide on the climate crisis?'
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As PG&E faces uncertainty, Sonoma Clean Power sees a bright future in green energy

By Bill Swindell   08/04/19  
The troubling saga of PG&E has been well chronicled along its path that led to a bankruptcy filing in January. Massive liabilities from wildfires caused by transmission lines. A push to increase already high energy…
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Close to Home: The clean energy revolution rolls on

By Ann Hancock   07/26/19  
Marin and Sonoma counties, take a bow. Because of your pathfinding efforts with community choice, you have had a huge, positive impact on climate action and on California’s emerging energy system. Marin’s community choice agency,…
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Windsor approves $100 million apartment complex featuring advanced energy efficiency

By Alexandria Bordas   07/09/19  
After five years of planning, Windsor officials have approved construction of an apartment complex that will be the town’s most eco-friendly housing community. Called The Mill, it will include 360 apartments built over the next…
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Sutter Health solar project at Santa Rosa hospital can power over 200 homes a year

By Cheryl Sarfaty   06/14/19  
Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital on Monday will formally “flip the switch” on its new carport solar panels that have been installed over its main parking lot and on the rooftop of Shea House, which…
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Energy’s future is solar plus storage

By Doron Amiran   04/22/19  
Solar power is growing in California, but is it growing too fast? Because solar power is generated only when the sun is shining, it is reasonable to ask: “Can we have too much of a…
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City operations and facilities to move to 100 percent renewable energy

By Katherine Minkiewicz   12/20/18  
Healdsburg is going green, well maybe not literally, but starting at the end of the month several city facilities and operations will start using 100 percent renewable energy, a move that will greatly reduce carbon…
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UC Berkeley leads new assessment of Bay Area climate impacts

By Robert Sanders   08/27/18  
California today issued its latest assessment of the many challenges the state faces from climate change — including wildfires like those still raging throughout the state – and highlighted for the first time the regional…
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Marin County goes 100% green energy

By Cynthia Sweeney   01/04/18  
Government entities in the North Bay are leading the state with 100 percent renewable electric power. In October, Marin County was the first in the state to enroll all of its county and city accounts…
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