The Phoenix City Council unanimously approved an ambitious new goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent below 2012 levels by 2025—cutting carbon pollution from all residents and businesses—continuing the City’s focus on sustainability over the last several years.
The 30 percent reduction target keeps Phoenix on track to achieve an 80 percent GHG reduction by 2050—a goal that the Council approved in 2016 that also allows Phoenix to exceed the requirements of the Paris Climate Accord. Although the federal government has withdrawn from the accord, last summer Mayor Greg Stanton said the City would remain committed to the agreement’s goals.
“Phoenix will continue to lead the way by setting – and beating – ambitious goals that will ultimately benefit our environment and our economy,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “We have made significant progress toward becoming a sustainable city, but there’s still work to do.”
“The council’s vote this week shows we’re charging ahead and beyond our already impressive results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the past 10 years,” said Councilwoman Kate Gallego, chair of the City Council’s Sustainability, Housing, Efficiency and Neighborhoods Subcommittee. “It also reaffirms Phoenix’s role as a home for green business and sustainable innovation.”
“This obligation demonstrates that the City of Phoenix is committed to leading the region in tackling climate change, and takes the real issue of global – and local – warming very seriously. Such a goal will undoubtedly continue to cultivate our culture of sustainability as we move toward a more multi-modal and technologically innovative urban environment,” said Vice Mayor Laura Pastor.
“As we encourage homeowners and businesses to increase the energy efficiency of their homes and buildings, the city must first lead by example in reviewing our own citywide infrastructure. We will study city buildings and facilities to see how we may improve our energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions throughout all operations,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski.
Today, the Council also directed staff to develop a plan to reduce carbon pollution. Possible actions to help the City reach that goal include accelerating the transition to electric vehicles and alternate transportation, significantly increasing trees and shade in Phoenix, improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings, and expanding options to purchase clean energy.
Last year, the City also adopted a new goal of reducing GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2025 within its own operations (from City-owned buildings and vehicles).
The City of Phoenix previously surpassed its goal of a 15 percent GHG reduction by 2015.
The City’s long-term goal is to become carbon neutral. Progress on several City initiatives are keeping Phoenix on track to meeting its goal:
• Phoenix was one of two cities worldwide recognized for taking major climate action. Phoenix was honored with the C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Award for the Reimagine Phoenix initiative to divert 40 percent of waste away from the landfill by 2020 and reach zero waste by 2050.
• Last fall, the City of Phoenix became one of the first cities to achieve LEED for Cities Platinum certification, the world’s most widely used green building rating program.
• Phoenix has become a leading municipality for solar energy, producing 32 megawatts of solar energy through City-sponsored projects.
• The City began the city-wide conversion to replace nearly 100,000 city streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights that will cut pollution, save energy and save millions of taxpayer dollars over time.
The City of Phoenix encourages residents to share their ideas and comments on potential actions to improve air quality and reduce our carbon pollution at www.coolerphoenix.com. For more information on the City’s sustainability goals and initiatives, visit phoenix.gov/sustainability.