The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the average global temperature must not rise more than 3.5°F above pre-industrial levels. In order to avoid that increase, the IPCC recommends that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.
As of 2010, greenhouse gas emissions in Travis County were estimated to be 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) per year. Approximately 55% of those emissions were created by energy use, 35% from transportation, and 10% from local landfills and manufacturing processes.
On April 10, 2014, Austin City Council passed Resolution 20140410-024, which establishes a new long-term goal of reaching net zero community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, or earlier if feasible. The Office of Sustainability initiated efforts to develop energy, transportation, waste, and industrial sector actions plans to meet this goal, which included collaborations with community experts, City departments, and input from the general public.
A Community Climate Steering Committee was convened to lead and guide development of the plan. Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) were also assembled for each of the major emissions sectors: Electricity and Natural Gas, Transportation, Materials Management, and Industrial. The members of the TAGs represent various stakeholder groups and experts in their respective fields, and they are developing specific actions for the Steering Committee to consider including in the overall plan.
This plan was developed in a way that:
Was open and transparent
Balanced the interests of the Austin community
Was realistic within the constraints of currently available information
Provided clear and compelling implementation pathways
Maintained Austin’s position as a climate leader
Watch Presentations about the Plan to Boards and Commissions
Throughout the development of the Community Climate Plan, the Office of Sustainability conducted a survey that received more than 1,000 responses from Austinites about willingness to engage in specific individual actions that would support the net-zero goal. Click here for the full report that details what we heard.
We also posted the first set of draft strategies and actions for each sector of emissions sources to three SpeakUp Austin forums. See the specific feedback received below.
Throughout the plan's development, the Office of Sustainability produced an individual action survey that received more than 1000 responses from Austinites. Click here for the full report detailing what we heard.
We also posted the first set of draft strategies and actions to three SpeakUp Austin forums for public input and feedback. View the feedback on the pages below.