The Climate Action Plan represents a significant milestone for Yolo County, which has a long history of being in the forefront of the green movement with land use policies that emphasize growth management, open space preservation and agricultural protection. In 1982, Yolo County adopted an Energy Plan, which was one of the first of its kind. In 1985, the county landfill completed a gas-to-energy facility, which generates 20,000 kilowatt hours per year and captures 90% of methane emissions.
In 2007, Yolo County became one of 12 charter members from throughout the country to sponsor the Cool Counties Initiative, which pledges each county collectively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. That same year, the county organized local cities, special districts and UC Davis to form the Yolo County Climate Change Compact, providing an ongoing forum for exchanging information on how best to analyze and address greenhouse gas emissions.