EHL has joined litigation to improve a flawed plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Action Plans (CAPs) are optional plans by local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. Examples of actions are solar panels for new construction, transit, and retrofits of older buildings. San Diego County’s General Plan requires a CAP, and the first version was overturned in court as unenforceable. 

The County released a revised CAP that included a devastatingly counterproductive measure – allowing developers of automobile-dependent sprawl development to purchase inexpensive “carbon credits” to offset emissions, including in foreign countries, instead of doing more onsite or locally, and instead of directing development to locations where transit can be used. 

The extent of these purchases would be limited only by unaccountable determinations of “feasibility.” Carbon offsets have been shown to be largely ineffective, may not reduce emissions beyond what would have occurred anyway, and raise huge issues of enforceability if located halfway around the world. The CAP’s offsets actually facilitate continuing high levels of auto use when the state Air Resources Board says the exact opposite is necessary. EHL submitted comments and testified, but to no avail.

EHL has joined the Sierra Club and other groups in opposing this plan. Our lead attorney is Chatten-Brown & Carstens.