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Celebrating Climate Action - 2022 Year in Review


Hammond Climate Solutions’ 2022 highlights: 

  • We publicly changed our operations from a social enterprise to Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3), which is allowing us to broaden our impact!
  • Our climate policy efforts helped: 
  • Push for a solar-friendly net metering agreement 
  • Provide feedback for the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan update and the County of San Diego’s Regional Decarbonization Framework 
  • Launch the Fossil Fuel Free Pledge! 
  • Provide input for San Diego County’s District 3 Environmental Roundtable 
  • The programs and projects we manage continued to make a positive impact in communities across the country:
  • We helped over 20 nonprofit organizations go solar this year through our Solar Moonshot Program and passed the $1,000,000 per year fundraising goal
  • We managed $8,387,418.01 in recoverable grants, which helped nonprofits nationwide afford the switch to clean energy and energy storage
  • We continued managing two e-bike pilot programs and assisted our client BQuest Foundation in supporting an e-bike program for De Anza College in Cupertino, California  
  • We oversaw the installations of an EV charging station at a San Diego-based nonprofits serving communities of concern with two more underway
  • Four more California Electric Vehicle Incentive Project (CALeVIP) rebates that we had applied for were given the green light to proceed, totalling $52,000 
  • In Q1, we accepted two awards - the first was the San Diego Green Building Council’s Sustainable Organization award, and the second was for our founder and executive director, Tara Hammond, who was one of the San Diego State University Alumni’s Rising Aztec winners
  • Our team proudly served in leadership roles on a number of boards and committees including:
  • California Alliance for Community Energy (Steering Committee) 
  • GRID Alternatives (San Diego Board of Directors) 
  • SanDiego350 (SouthBay Eco Justice team) 
  • San Diego Green New Deal Alliance (Steering Committee)
  • San Diego Community Power (Community Advisory Committee and Executive Ad Hoc Committee)
  • Climate Defenders Action Fund (Board of Directors) 
  • San Diego Climate Hub (Hub Manager) 

As 2022 comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on all we have accomplished this year as well as share what we have in store for 2023. From fighting for the equitable and sustainable expansion of the rooftop solar industry to successfully advocating for comprehensive and legally-binding climate action plans to managing clean energy initiatives, this year has been packed with local, statewide and national climate action alongside many amazing partners. Thank you for supporting our work! 

Net Energy Metering 

After a two and a half year battle, the California Public Utilities Commission made a final decision on the future of rooftop solar and approved a new net energy metering tariff. Unfortunately, the decision benefits the investor-owned utilities and will slow California’s advancement towards 100 percent clean energy, using fossil fuels for a longer duration, which accelerates the climate crisis and worsens climate injustices. The tariff makes drastic cuts to the credits customers receive for sharing excess energy with neighbors and makes solar more expensive for everyone, including low-income Californians who are currently paying a disproportionate amount of income towards skyrocketing energy costs. 

Although we are outraged that the commission has sided with the investor-owned utilities and has disregarded the thousands of letters and public comments from climate organizations, nonprofits, schools, cities, elected officials and climate justice organizations urging them to keep rooftop solar growing, we want to take a step back celebrate what our coalition was able to accomplish throughout the course of the proceeding. 

In mid-2020 we were asked by the Solar Rights Alliance to gather San Diego climate leaders to help build a statewide coalition, which became the Save CA Solar coalition, and we are so proud of the coalition’s work. San Diego was a leader in addressing this issue with the most public comments in opposition coming directly from San Diegans. This is undoubtedly due to the amount of work local organizations poured into organizing public comments, giving presentations, meetings with elected officials, organizing rallies and speaking with the media (read more about one of our successful solar rallies here). Although this decision is far from a win, we were able to: 

  • Stop the solar tax 
  • Prevent changes to existing customers 
  • Defeat Assembly Bill 1139, the “anti-solar bill”
  • Build a diverse statewide coalition of over 600 

For now, we will celebrate what we were able to change but this decision serves as a reminder that there is still a lot of work to do to dismantle the fossil fuel industry's influence on politics and to achieve true energy and climate justice. For more background on this topic, check out

Local Policy Highlights 

While our team fought endlessly for good policy change at the statewide level, we also helped effectively bring some big changes at our local level in 2022. The City of San Diego passed a comprehensive Climate Action Plan update, which included bold targets for the region to meet in the coming years. More importantly, it came with a promise of an implementation plan and funding plan to be released in early 2023, something the last Climate Action Plan was lacking and resulted in little to no progress on the plan. 

At the San Diego County level we helped provide important feedback for the Regional Decarbonization Framework. While the final plan has not been approved, local climate organizations are committed to ensuring this framework is not only comprehensive but provides a path for implementation and includes how we will transition workers from our current gas infrastructure as we decarbonize. We were also invited and participated in the San Diego County District 3 Environmental Roundtable strategy meetings. 

Finally, our team was proud to serve as technical stakeholders to help with the development of a number of local programs and climate boards, most notably, the development of the City of San Diego’s new Climate Advisory Boards, which will advise the city on numerous issues ranging from energy and land conservation to building electrification and stormwater issues.     

Fossil Fuel Free Pledge 

The Fossil Fuel Free Pledge, which was launched by SanDiego350, Surfrider San Diego, BikeSD, San Diego Coastkeeper and Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation, disrupts the fossil fuel industry’s anti-climate agenda by celebrating and providing transparency regarding where nonprofit organizations, elected officials and candidates receive funding. Those who take the pledge commit to not accepting money from fossil fuel companies, demonstrating dedication and seriousness to combatting the climate crisis, dismantling the local fossil fuel industry’s influence and prioritizing a healthy, equitable, ethical, just transition and sustainable world. 

Since the pledge’s soft launch during Earth month, there have been nearly 35 pledgees and we plan to expand the pledge categories in the coming months! To read more about the August launch event, click here, and to take the pledge, please fill out an application on the campaign website:

Solar Moonshot Program

Our Solar Moonshot Program continues to effectively make positive change by assisting nonprofit organizations across the country in adopting clean energy. To date, the Solar Moonshot Program has secured $3,150,000, which so far has assisted over 100 nonprofits, deploying 5,458kW of solar and offsetting 136,049 metric tons of carbon dioxide. These projects are reducing emissions, offering solar and energy storage education to the community, supporting green jobs and allowing nonprofits to save money on utility bills that are reinvested into their missions. 

In recent months we have supported over 20 projects across nine states. The projects range from educational facilities to food pantries, affordable housing and more. Collectively, these projects equate to 853.25kW of solar power, have supported countless green jobs and will reduce the use of dirty energy contributing to climate racism and the climate crisis for decades to come. 

There are always more solar projects to fund. If you know of a foundation, philanthropist or company interested in supporting the Solar Moonshot Program, further expanding our impact, please reach out to  

New Electric Bike Program

We are excited to be taking part in our fourth electric bike (e-bike) program. This program, in partnership with De Anza College, Cupertino Rotary and BQuest Foundation, will benefit low-income students at De Anza College. The e-bike loaner program will allow students to get to and from the college more easily and provide them with a reliable form of transportation while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint. The college will be launching this loaner program with 23 e-bikes and we look forward to seeing how the student body benefits as well as how many vehicle miles are offset by the e-bikes!

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

While there are many public funds available for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the process of applying for them and ultimately securing them can be daunting and burdensome for nonprofit organizations with little resources. 

We have helped the BQuest Foundation  secure rebates from the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (CALeVIP), which when paired with the foundation's grants, brings EV charging stations to nonprofit organizations serving communities  at zero cost to the nonprofit.

Our efforts this year have helped secure $42,000 in rebates for nonprofits serving communities of concern across the region and EV charging installations for three nonprofits have been installed or are close to being installed. 

Looking Forward 

In addition to continuing our climate advocacy and policy efforts, climate advising and existing climate programs like the Solar Moonshot Program and our e-bike programs, we plan to expand the Fossil Fuel Free Pledge to other focus areas as well. We’ll be sharing details on other programs for 2023 in the coming weeks, some of which will serve as pilot programs and proof of concept to lay the foundation for bigger programs for cities, community choice programs and legislation. 

Connect with us on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter) and to ensure you receive updates in the future, sign up for our newsletter.

We look forward to working with all of you in 2023 to create a more just and livable future!

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The Future of Schools is Electric

I (Karen Cederholm, Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation Climate Justice Intern) remember when my high school installed solar panels in its vast and barren parking lot; the blacktop used to capture so much heat you could feel it radiate back up at the end of the day. It was wonderful to see that the empty space was now producing clean energy while also providing shade to student and faculty vehicles during a typical sunny day in San Diego. Now, students from other schools within the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) will be able to see this transition as well as the Board of Education recently passed a fossil fuel free resolution on April 26, 2023 to make all schools in the district fully electric.

Spearheaded by the Schools Team of the San Diego Building Electrification Coalition, which we are members of, activists and students worked effortfully to call upon the Board of Education to commit the district to phasing out the use of fossil fuels. SanDiego350 garnered over 600 signatures on its petition and organized a rally outside of the district office on April 25 before the board meeting, demanding the adoption of a clean energy resolution. Participants also made comments to the board during the meeting, advocating for a fossil fuel free future (check out the Fossil Fuel Free Pledge where businesses, nonprofits, philanthropists and elected officials make this commitment!). With this new resolution, bus fleets and maintenance vehicles currently running on fossil fuels will be phased out, appliances in existing buildings will be replaced with electric ones and a reach code will be established for new construction. A Green Jobs curriculum will also be established to raise awareness of environmentally focused professions, and SDUSD will enroll in San Diego Community Power’s Power100 by the end of 2024, using 100 percent renewable and carbon-free energy.

This transition to clean energy is happening nationwide. The Environmental Protection Agency currently has a Clean School Bus Program running through 2026 that is distributing $1 billion to 389 public and charter school districts, and so far there are over 5,000 committed electric school buses across the U.S. Our own Solar Moonshot Program helps organizations make the switch to solar energy affordable by awarding grants to nonprofits. Solar and storage systems act as resilience hubs for schools and the surrounding community, and so far we have helped 9 solar projects happen across the country. Right now, we have $750,000 to help schools across the U.S. adopt solar power. If you know of an educational institution that wants to go solar but requires additional funding, consider sharing or submitting an application, which is located at the bottom of our Solar Moonshot Program page ( 

Times are changing, and it’s more important than ever for public entities to get behind a green future. These switches are vital to improving the health of students, providing equitable education and reducing the human-carbon footprint that worsens climate change. If you are interested in reading more about climate education and why it matters, check out our previous blog post.

Photo credit: Solar Moonshot Program awardee, School District of West Salem

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Earth Day 2023: Invest in Our Planet

Earth Day is an annual event created to celebrate and be thankful for everything the Earth does for us. It is a time to strengthen our relationship with nature, give back as well as find ways to protect our planet for current and future generations. The theme for Earth Day this year is “Invest in Our Planet.” This theme resonates with me (Danylo Lesko, Hammond Climate Solutions Foundation’s Climate Justice Intern) as a current graduate student because education is the best way to invest in our planet. Education is critical in driving the transition to a sustainable future, providing the tools and resources for future generations to adapt to and address the climate crisis justly and equitably. By increasing the accessibility and quality of environmental education and shaping people’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards the climate crisis, the world will see more effective, equitable and participatory change. Education can encourage people to change their behavior and attitudes and help them make informed decisions. It can empower all people and help motivate our youth to take action. 

Investing in climate education is essential to provide the tools and skills needed to drive a transition to a sustainable world. The climate crisis is magnifying the inequalities present in our societies, requiring innovative solutions that address these vulnerabilities. Investing in environmental and climate education can help change behaviors that harm the environment and transform attitudes and knowledge towards actions that promote positive environmental outcomes. Forward-thinking education needs to adapt to a rapidly changing world and provide future generations with the knowledge and practical skills they need to protect our planet and those who depend on it. Orienting education to include climate action and climate justice are important steps that help provide pathways for greater involvement and societal transformation. Enhancing climate literacy by including climate justice and climate equity will help ensure students develop confidence and passion for making a positive difference in society as activists and leaders. 

The climate crisis has already impacted young people with various concerns about their future, including where they will live, what work they will do and their quality of life. There is no national consensus about the importance of climate education, and the U.S. needs to have national science standards. Instead, each state determines what its schools teach, which can vary significantly between states. In 2012, the Next Generation Science Standards were developed to create a science standard for climate education. However, the standards are voluntary, and only some states have adopted these standards. Climate education allows for people to care for the planet while caring for each other. Social-emotional learning refers to the skills people need to be successful in life, such as goal setting, managing emotions, problem-solving, cultivating empathy, relationship skills and self-awareness. Incorporating social-emotional learning in climate education recognizes that humans are part of nature, helping promote an understanding of environmental justice issues and fostering collaborative problem-solving that addresses both planetary and human needs. Investing in climate education provides pathways for future generations to explore solutions that tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. Investing in climate education is a way for students not only to learn about the climate crisis, but it also provides an opportunity for students to realize their own agency as climate justice leaders through interdisciplinary approaches rooted in social justice. 

Student leaders in Portland, Oregon helped transform climate education in the Portland Public Schools by advocating for a greater focus on climate and equity in their education. These student leaders helped initiate a climate justice curriculum that highlights climate resilience and how responsive the earth and marginalized and frontlines communities are to the impacts of climate change. Throughout the curriculum, students gain a deep understanding of how intertwined the climate crisis and climate justice really are and the ways both impact every aspect of their lives. A big part of this curriculum is looking at solutions and policy, which gives students an opportunity to identify how they can take action to address climate action and climate justice head on. Such approaches provide students with the background information they need to engage in activism that is very meaningful while providing a way to combat climate anxieties they may feel and empowering students to become transformative racial equity leaders and global stewards. When climate education is rooted in social equity that empowers students to take intersectional approaches that address all aspects of the climate crisis it helps lift up communities that are disproportionately affected, helping lift everyone with them. 

Each of us has the effective power to make our voices heard through the choices we make, our civic actions and personal interactions. What we do and how we do it has a huge impact on the planet and civic society. We can use our power to support actions that protect our environment and investing in education provides a pathway for collective action and transformation! We invite you to celebrate Earth Day this year by supporting climate education in your communities, and what better way than turning learning into action? Find an Earth Day event near you here, join in climate activism and celebrate the accomplishments of advancing climate justice and equity! 

Photo credit: Earth Day

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Nature-Based Solutions in San Diego

Nature-based solutions are actions to help protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges while simultaneously providing benefits for people and the environment. As the most biodiverse county in the continental United States, San Diego County is well positioned to utilize nature-based solutions. These actions can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve societal co-benefits.

Nature-based solutions aim to enhance the natural function of ecosystems to provide multiple societal co-benefits such as improved public health through cleaner air and water as well as the availability of open space, improvements to habitat for wildlife and plants, flood risk reduction and other ecosystem services that enhance the resiliency of our environment. Natural and working lands are vital in the carbon cycle in San Diego and throughout California. Healthy ecosystems that include vegetation and soil microbes capture and store carbon from the atmosphere. In contrast, changes that alter or damage ecosystems, including land use modifications, deforestation and wildfires, can release sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere, accelerating the climate crisis. To balance between carbon stored and carbon released determines whether natural lands and ecosystems function as net sources or net carbon sinks. Protection of natural environments from land use and disturbances helps promote the functioning of forests, wetlands and oceans as carbon sinks that absorb more carbon than they emit.

San Diego has initiated multiple nature-based solutions projects already. However, the need to develop and scale up these projects is ever increasing as San Diego and California face impacts of the climate crisis. The United States Economic Development Administration’s Economic Integrator helped catalyze a nature-based solution project focused on upstream improvements to reduce runoff and debris deposited into San Diego’s stormwater infrastructure. This project helps mitigate the impact of flooding in the urban center while enhancing outdoor recreation and economic development for the County. The project focuses on Maple Canyon, nestled between Balboa Park and San Diego International Airport, a green space that buffers business with nature inside the urban core of San Diego. As flooding during storm events occurs, runoff and debris impact the downstream commercial enterprises, transportation networks and natural habitats. Restoration efforts have minimized flooding and stormwater runoff, helping protect vital urban infrastructure and important urban and natural landscapes.

As a coastal city, enhancing the resiliency of our coast is vital to managing climate change impacts such as sea level rise, coastal erosion and storm surges. Coastal wetlands throughout San Diego County are essential ecosystems that not only help with flood protection but are also some of the most productive ecosystems that play an integral role in the ecology of our watershed. Coastal wetlands are also considered “blue carbon ecosystems,” which include habitats like salt marshes and seagrass meadows that help capture and store more atmospheric carbon per acre than terrestrial forests. Nature-based solutions that preserve and restore these wetlands help build community resilience to the impacts of climate change by sequestering carbon and helping enhance the resiliency to sea level rise and coastal flooding. The Blue Carbon Collaborative, founded by the nonprofit organization Wildcoast, is a network of organizations working on the conservation, research and policy developments for blue carbon ecosystems and nature-based solutions. 

Only 10 percent of California’s original wetlands remain, yet they are some of the best ecosystems on the planet for taking carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it in the ground for a long time. Restoration of these wetlands provides an opportunity to enhance these ecosystems' production and utilize their potential as a natural climate solution. Aligning nature based solutions with the 30x30 plan to conserve 30 percent of our land and coastal waters by 2030 to protect biodiversity will expand access to nature while lessening the impacts of the climate crisis.

Cover photo credit: IUCN

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