Home » Sustainability » About Us » About the LB CAP » Mitigation and Adaptation Actions

Climate Adaptation vs. Mitigation Actions

Adaptation Actions

Climate adaptation refers to adjusting our behaviors, systems, and infrastructure to reduce the impact climate change has on us. There are three types of adaptation strategies - structural, natural, and community-based.

The adaptation actions identified were created to improve the ability of Long Beach and its residents and businesses to adapt to climate change, and related impacts now and in the future.

A range of factors were considered in the design and selection of the various actions, including:

  • The projected timeframe and estimated likelihood of the vulnerability
  • The importance and effectiveness of each action in increasing resilience
  • Technical feasibility and City implementation capacity
  • Public and stakeholder feedback throughout the LB CAP development process

Mitigation Actions to reduce emissions that cause climate change, Increase energy  efficiency, Affordable, safe, carbon- free transportation, Zero Waste City. Solutions rooted in infrastructure, community, nature. Adaptation: Actions to reduce emissions that cause climate change. Reduce extreme heat: cooling surfaces and green tech, improve long term water scarcity, minimize air pollution and improve public health, prepare for flooding events.

Extreme Heat

Extreme heat conditions are defined as weather that is much hotter than average, and sometimes more humid, for a particular time and place. In Long Beach, extreme heat conditions are considered to be reached when temperatures are 95 degrees and above.

  • Action Items & Equity Strategies

    In the coming decades extreme heat is expected to be the greatest climate-related health threat to Long Beach residents, causing an increase in heat-related mortality, cardiovascular and respiratory related mortality, and an increase in hospital admissions and emergency department visits. Extreme heat events disproportionately impact vulnerable populations such as young children, the elderly, people with respiratory diseases, people with physical disabilities, and those that work outdoors.

    The adaptation actions in this section establish a roadmap for the City to implement new programs and improved existing programs to address extreme heat now and in the future.

    Extreme Heat Goal: Long Beach buildings, neighborhoods, and infrastructure are climate resilient, reduce the urban heat island effect, and are set up to ensure and improve public health and safety in the face of extreme heat events. Objectives: New and existing buildings, streets, and public spaces reduce extreme heat through incorporation of cool surfaces and green infrastructure.All residents have access to services and programs to withstand extreme heat events.  Public transit is a comfortable and viable mobility option during extreme heat events, especially for transit-dependent populations. Actions: Increase presence of cool roofs and cool walls. Increase the presence of reflective streets, cool surfaces, and shade canopies. Enhance and expand urban forest cover and vegetation. Install additional water fountains and other actions to increase public access to water. Identify future vulnerability potential for power outages related to extreme heat and develop plans to prevent such outages. Enhance and expand the accessibility of cooling centers. Provide bus shelter amenities. Improve beach and coastal transit access during extreme heat events.
    Equity Strategies  Prioritize neighborhoods that are most impacted by extreme heat, focusing on communities burdened with the poorest air quality. Identify corridors in the areas most impacted by extreme heat and/or poor air quality to prioritize them for shade, cool pavement, and other reflective surfaces. Prioritize the enhancement and expansion of urban forest cover in neighborhoods that are the most impacted by extreme heat and poor air quality and that lack urban forest coverage and green space.Prioritize public water access in areas most impacted by extreme heat, with a focus on opportunities to serve children, seniors, core transit riders, and low-income communities.


Air Quality

The consequences of climate change extend beyond rising temperatures, significantly affecting air quality. Higher global temperatures result in increased levels of pollutants and allergens, exacerbating respiratory issues and other health problems. Addressing these impacts is essential for developing effective climate adaptation strategies to protect public health.

  • Action Items & Equity Strategies

    Air pollution is a major threat to public health and carries increased risk for vulnerable populations. In a 2006 assessment, the Long Beach Health Department found that 14 percent of residents suffer from asthma which is 2.5 percent higher than Los Angeles and 6 percent higher than the entire U.S. The report found that people of color and low-income communities were disproportionately impacted. All air quality actions taken by the City will prioritize vulnerable communities

    Warming could increase the number of days violating air quality standards in the region by as much as 25-80 percent by end-of-century. Additionally, an increase in wildfires in the broader region could also lead to dangerous air quality levels. The combination of higher temperatures, precipitation change, and increasing CO2 concentrations is expected to increase pollen and some airborne allergens

    The air quality adaptation actions target air pollution reductions from a variety of sources such as buses, landscaping equipment, the Long Beach Airport, and food transportation. Combined with the air pollution reduction co-benefits that are expected to result from the mitigation actions, the CAP has the potential to lead to substantial improvements in air quality and public health.
    Air Quality Goal: Goal: All Long Beach communities have clean air and improved public health. Objectives: Buildings and facilities actively reduce air pollution as a component of a broader energy reduction strategy.Emissions are reduced by shifting to cleaner equipment and vehicles. Air quality impacts from local oil and gas operations are minimized. Actions: Incentivize installation of photocatalytic tiles Encourage urban agriculture practices that reduce air quality pollution Support the development of the Long Beach Airport Sustainability Plan Electrify small local emitters, such as lawn and garden equipment, outdoor power equipment, and others Implement the Port of Long Beach Clean Air Action Plan Work with Long Beach United School District (LBUSD) to support school bus electrification Increase monitoring and regulation of oil extraction and refining processAir Quality Equity Strategies. Evaluate the air quality benefits of installing photocatalytic tiles in neighborhoods with high pollution levels and prioritize projects that will provide the greatest benefits in Long Beach communities with the poorest air quality.Support urban agriculture as a means of enhancing local food access and decreasing neighborhood food insecurity, and prioritize options for renters.Implement actions that improve air quality for impacted communities around Long Beach Airport.Target efforts to phase out diesel-powered buses for electric buses in school and bus route service areas with the poorest air quality.


Changes in temperature and precipitation are predicted to produce longer and more frequent droughts that will have an impact on Long Beach’s water supply.

  • Action Items & Equity Strategies

    To respond to this challenging dynamic Long Beach will need to build on its successful efforts to use existing water resources more efficiently and diversify its water supply. The City has made significant strides through the initiation of a number of programs to respond to drought and meet and exceed state water use efficiency targets. This includes successful public outreach, education, and incentives to residents and businesses to conserve water.

    To establish a more diverse and sustainable water supply the City will identify ways to increase the supply and use of recycled water, expand green infrastructure and streets, and increase the capture and storage of rainfall. These actions have numerous potential co-benefits such as water and energy savings, expansion of green space, and reduced urban heat island effects.

    Drought Goal: Long Beach has a more sustainable and diverse water supply that reduces dependence on imported water and improves long-term water security. Objectives: Maximize water efficiency and conservation.Maximize water that is captured and reused locally. Actions: Continue development and implementation of water use efficiency programs and implement additional water conservation programs. Enhance outreach and education related to water conservation.  Expand usage of green infrastructure and green streets. Expand usage of recycled water and greywater for non-potable use. Incorporate increased rainfall capture and other actions to maximize local water supplies and offset imported water.

Sea Level Rise + Flooding

Sea level rise, driven by climate change, occurs as melting glaciers and ice sheets add water to the oceans and as seawater expands due to higher temperatures. This increase in sea level heightens the risk of coastal flooding, especially during high tides and storms, posing significant threats to coastal communities and ecosystems.

  • Action Items & Equity Strategies

    Mean sea levels off the coast of Long Beach rose by approximately one millimeter per year from 1923 to 2016 according to tide gauge data, for a total of around 3.7 inches. This is expected to accelerate in the coming decades.

    Low-lying areas, such as Belmont Shore, Naples, and the Peninsula are already experiencing coastal flooding, particularly during combined high tide and rain events. As sea levels continue to rise, these areas of the city are expected to be more frequently impacted by higher storm tides, more extensive inland flooding and increased coastal erosion during storm events.

    The foundation of this approach includes monitoring, keeping track of the latest projections, and updating plans for the near-, medium-, and long-term on a regular basis. The suite of adaptation actions includes establishing the monitoring program; integrating consideration of sea level rise and related impacts into City policies, plans, and programs; investing in resilient infrastructure and buildings; and striving to preserve coastal access and recreation among others.
    Sea Level Rise and Flooding Goal: Long Beach understands and is prepared for its future flood risk. Objectives: Short-Term Actions (to 2030):  City plans and policies are forward-looking and ensure projects and investments account for projected sea level and flooding impacts. Clear and sufficient information is on hand to identify and prioritize near-term adaptation needs and best practices. Adaptation strategies are implemented to protect vulnerable shoreline areas and wastewater infrastructure. Medium-Term Actions (2030- 2050): Vulnerable infrastructure is elevated or relocated. Long-Term Actions (2050-2100): Long-term physical adaptation strategies are selected and implemented based on additional research and community adaptation priorities and prioritize natural solutions whenever possible. Additional long-term adaptation options are evaluated using the best available science Action Items: Update and augment regulations as necessary floodplain. Incorporate sea level rise language into citywide plans, policies, and regulations. Establish a flood impacts monitoring program. Incorporate adaptation into City lease negotiations. Update the City’s existing Stormwater Management Plan. Conduct citywide beach stabilization study. Review and conduct studies of combined riverine/coastal flooding and increased severity of rainfall events on watershed flooding. Enhance dunes. Inventory and flood-proof vulnerable sewer pump stations.  Relocate/elevate critical infrastructure. Elevate riverine levees. Expand beach nourishment. Construct living shoreline/berm. Elevate street hardscapes. Elevate streets/pathways. Retrofit/extend sea wall. Retreat/realign parking lots. Extend/upgrade existing seawalls. Investigate feasibility of managed retreat. Evaluate feasibility of storm surge barrier at Alamitos Bay.

    Aerial image showing Alamitos Bay and Sea Level Rise actions associated with different areas within Alamitos Bay.

Mitigation Actions

Mitigation Actions that will work towards greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction have been identified through extensive engagement with City staff, subject matter experts, local stakeholders, and Long Beach residents and businesses.

Building + Energy

Reducing building energy use and using clean, renewable energy are necessary to meet the CAP’s 2030 targets. By improving energy efficiency in buildings and transitioning to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal power, Long Beach can significantly reduce emissions associated with heating, cooling, and powering buildings.

  • Action Items & Equity Strategies

    Electricity and natural gas use in residential and commercial buildings are responsible for about 25 percent of the emissions in the Long Beach GHG inventory. The electricity sector in California is rapidly evolving towards renewable energy. This evolution is the result of California’s aggressive Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) as well as market and technology changes that are making renewables increasingly cost-competitive with fossil fuels. One of the primary ways cities around the state are aiming to meet their near-term emissions reduction targets is to transition to 100 percent local consumption of renewable electricity before 2045. A renewable electricity transition will significantly reduce but not eliminate energy emissions from buildings because of the prevalence of natural gas in existing buildings

    The core focus of building energy actions is on transitioning Long Beach to renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency in existing and new residential, commercial, and municipal buildings. Energy-efficient buildings that are powered by clean, renewable energy will also improve outdoor and indoor air quality, improve overall comfort, and provide utility cost savings, which are important co-benefits for residents and businesses.Building + Energy Goal: Long Beach buildings are energy-efficient and our communities run on affordable, renewable electricity. GHG Reductions 247,700 MT CO2e. Objectives: Transition to a carbon-free, more resilient electricity system. Increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings/facilities. Ensure new buildings are low-carbon or carbon-neutral. Reduce emissions from local oil and gas extraction. Actions: Provide access to renewably generated electricity. Increase use of solar power. Promote community solar and microgrids. Develop a residential and commercial energy assessment and benchmarking program. Provide access to energy efficiency financing, rebates, and incentives for building owners. Perform municipal energy and water audits. Update building codes to incentivize electric new residential and commercial buildings. Implement short-term measures to reduce emissions related to oil and gas extraction.


Addressing emissions from the transportation sector is essential for achieving climate goals and creating a more sustainable future. Transitioning to cleaner, more efficient transportation systems, including electric vehicles, public transit, biking, and walking, is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

  • Action Items & Equity Strategies

    The transportation sector is typically the largest source of GHG emissions at the state, regional, and local levels. Decades of transportation policy and investment decisions in California – including in Long Beach – have produced a transportation system that is heavily dependent on fossil fuels and communities that are too reliant on single-occupant vehicles.

    The CAP transportation actions incorporate current City efforts to reduce GHG transportation emissions and new efforts to achieve greater reductions. The San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, the Long Beach Transit System-wide Transit Analysis and Reassessment (STAR) Initiative to improve transit service, continued expansion of the City’s bikeway and pedestrian networks, and increased housing and employment density along major transit corridors are existing efforts that not only have public health, mobility, and quality of life benefits but also reduce GHG emissions.
    Transportation  Goal: Affordable, safe, carbon-free transportation choices connect all Long Beach communities to opportunity, clean air, and improved health. GHG Reductions 30,480 MT CO2e. Objectives: Decrease reliance on personal motor vehicles and increase transit, biking, and walking trips. Shift to low- and zero- emissions vehicles to move people and freight. Prioritize the development of transit-oriented neighborhoods with a mix of jobs, services, and housing. Actions: Increase the frequency, speed, connectivity, and safety of transit options. Expand and improve pedestrian infrastructure citywide. Increase bikeway infrastructure citywide. Implement the Port of Long Beach Clean Trucks Program. Develop an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Master Plan. Increase employment and residential development along primary transit corridors. Update the Transportation Demand Management Ordinance. Increase the density and mixing of land uses. Integrate SB 743 planning with the CAP process.


Solid waste disposal creates emissions when organic waste, such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and paper and wood products, is buried in landfills and decomposition occurs that emits methane. Methane from landfill waste disposal is responsible for approximately 6 percent of the city’s GHG inventory.


  • Action Items & Equity Strategies

    The City, along with its franchise waste haulers, is responsible for collecting solid waste from homes and businesses. The portion of waste that the City collects is processed at the Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF), where it is sorted to remove additional recyclables and then incinerated to generate electricity. Through this process, SERRF helps to avoid landfill emissions and extends the operational life of regional landfills, while also providing energy recovery that can offset the additional use of non-renewable energy sources for electricity generation.

    To address the city’s solid waste emissions comprehensively, the CAP includes waste actions directed at services provided by the City and by private waste haulers. These actions include ensuring compliance with state waste regulations, which set requirements for different property types, and expanding community wide participation in organic waste collection.
    Waste Goal: Long Beach is a zero-waste city. Objectives: Materials that can be recycled are recycled. Collect all organic waste for composting or clean energy generation. Actions: Ensure compliance with state law requirements for multifamily and commercial property recycling programs. Develop an organic waste collection program for City-serviced accounts. Partner with private waste haulers to expand organic waste collection community-wide. Identify organic waste management options.
    Equity Strategies Ensure equitable access to recycling services and potential benefits such as cost savings by developing multilingual outreach materials and conducting targeted outreach to local businesses and low-income and multifamily tenants. Ensure equitable access to organic waste services and potential benefits such as cost savings by developing multilingual outreach materials and conducting targeted outreach to low-income residents. Ensure equitable access to organic waste services and potential benefits such as cost savings by developing multilingual outreach materials and conducting targeted outreach to local businesses and low-income and multifamily residential tenants. Ensure equitable access to organic waste services and potential benefits such as cost savings. Evaluate the siting of an organic waste facility through an environmental justice lens.