The City of Austin has a long history and strong track record of sustainability leadership through initiatives that support prosperity and jobs, conservation and the environment, and community health, equity, and cultural vitality. In 2007, Austin City Council adopted a resolution to “make Austin the leading city in the nation in the effort to reduce the negative impacts of global warming” and established a goal aligned with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reduction targets.
On December 12, 2015, the world reached an important milestone in planning for climate change with the signing of the Paris Agreement. The Agreement confirmed a target of keeping the rise in temperature below 2°C and committing all 196 signatory countries – including the United States – to update and report back on their climate action plans every five years. Austin is well poised to support U.S. efforts with our ongoing climate planning actions, including goals that are more aggressive than those set in the Paris Agreement.
Council has adopted three resolutions with specific greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets:
In June of 2015, Council adopted the Austin Community Climate Plan to achieve community-wide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The plan contains over 130 actions that will reduce emissions from energy, transportation, and materials and waste sources, and sets interim reduction targets for 2020, 2030, and 2040. The Office of Sustainability is working closely with City departments to implement the actions identified in Phase 1.
The Office of Sustainability also provides semi-annual reports to Council about the implementation status of various actions and strategies in the Austin Community Climate Plan.
Other Plans that Support Emissions Reduction
The City of Austin is implementing multiple plans that indirectly support the goal of community-wide emissions reductions from electricity and natural gas, transportation, and materials and waste management sources: