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


First atmospheric river storm of the season heading into Northern California, bringing rain

By Paul Rogers 09/24/23
The first atmospheric river storm of the season is forecast to hit Northern California on Sunday and Monday, bringing much needed help fighting fires in remote, rugged areas near the Oregon border that have sent…
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Sonoma County Sharpens Climate Battle as It Aims for Carbon Neutrality by 2030

By Tony Ng 08/30/23
Today, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors announced their approval of the County's Municipal Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
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Napa and Sonoma 2023: Harvest forecast

By Vicki Denig 08/16/23
After years of managing the deleterious effects of climate change – drought, wildfires and beyond – winemakers across northern California have experienced much-needed relief in the form of excessive rainfall last winter and into spring…
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Ethical shopping: Sonoma stores curbing climate change

By Mia Epstein 08/15/23
“Overall, the fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of global emissions, according to the UN — more than the aviation and shipping (industries) combined,” said Esme Stallard from BBC News.
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Close to Home: North Coast’s dirty little energy secret

By Geof Syphers 08/13/23
What does turning on your lights in Sonoma County or Mendocino County have to do with childhood asthma in Southern California?
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Poll shows too little support for climate resiliency tax measure; Sonoma County pols go back to the drawing board

By Mary Callahan 07/24/23
Members of the Regional Climate Protection Authority are going back to the drawing board to determine how best to fund carbon reduction and climate mitigation after a recent poll showed insufficient support for a tax…
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Sonoma County Regional Parks seeks community feedback on climate

To promote community wellbeing and a vibrant, resilient parks system Sonoma County Regional Parks is creating a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CARP) and seeks public input on future climate-related priorities and projects. The comprehensive…
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Sonoma County Regional Parks seeks community feedback on climate

To promote community wellbeing and a vibrant, resilient parks system Sonoma County Regional Parks is creating a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CARP) and seeks public input on future climate-related priorities and projects. The comprehensive…
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Planned hydropower project on Sonoma Coast blindsides locals

By John Ramos 07/18/23
With the State steering away from fossil fuels, the push to go all-electric is creating a huge demand for carbon-free power. But in Sonoma County, even staunch environmentalists are shocked by a proposal to turn…
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Community Matters: Local group threatens county’s green energy projects

By John Burns 07/06/23
Sonoma County is poised to join a statewide initiative to eliminate California’s dependence on fossil-fueled power plants spewing large volumes of carbon into the atmosphere which accelerates global climate change.
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Climate Action and Resiliency Division

The Climate Action and Resiliency Division (CARD) within the County Administrator’s Office is dedicated to helping the County and the community to address the climate crisis and achieve climate-related goals and objectives. CARD leads projects,…
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Napa County, cities face costs of climate action plan

By Barry Eberling 06/09/23
Napa County and its five cities may be tested in their resolve to create a regional climate action plan if they have to foot the bill themselves.
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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…


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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