The Lewis Center works to identify and support research needed to strengthen local governments’ capacity to adapt to climate change and to translate that research into a form useful to those leading and working within local governments. The Lewis Center and Luskin Center for Innovation’s joint Climate Change Initiative provides resources for policymakers and researchers through symposia, searchable databases, and links to reports, articles, and working papers related to local climate policy.

The Initiative seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What have cities in California done to mitigate their impact on the climate?
  • How do these Climate Action Plans vary across cities?
  • Which cities translate promises into climate action?
  • Which types of cities are more likely to complete their promises and why?
  • Is the adoption of climate plans spatially related? Studying spatial diffusion of local climate policies and plans will allow us to find out if and how leaders are affecting followers.

Researchers at the Lewis Center have:

  • Helped write the U.S. Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research recently recommended use of this resource, which means that all California communities will soon use this protocol in planning for climate mitigation.
  • Worked with UCLA Environmental Science seniors to evaluate options for carbon neutrality in the City of Hermosa Beach. The project, the first of its kind in California, will evaluate the steps needed to reduce or offset the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Planned efforts to upgrade the California Land Opportunities Tracking System (CALOTS) map-based planning website. The upgrade will enable local planners throughout Southern California to monitor the performance of policies related to Senate Bill 375, local government climate change mitigation planning.

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