Climate change is here for Central Texas and impacts everything in the natural and built environment. In the future, we can expect:
In order to avoid the worst impacts, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced. What does that mean for Austin and how can each of us make a difference?
Climate Change at the Local Level
- What causes climate change?
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap and hold heat at the Earth’s surface.
- What produces greenhouse gases?
Carbon-based energy and fuel produce greenhouse gases. These primarily come from energy, transportation, landfills, and materials production and transport.
- What does Austin’s carbon footprint look like?
53% of greenhouse gas emissions come from energy, 36% from transportation, 5% from materials and waste management, and 6% from industrial processes, for a total of 13.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent.
- With Austin’s population on the rise, our carbon footprint could get bigger and have many negative outcomes:
This includes high temperature extremes, increased flooding, and more periods of drought, which would mean negative consequences for health, property, and affordability.
- What does the typical Austinite’s carbon footprint look like?
50% comes from energy, 43% from transportation, and 7% from materials and waste management, for a total of 14 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent.
- What can each person do to reduce their carbon footprint?
Use less energy; walk, bike and ride the bus more; and keep as much out of the landfill as possible.
For a list of simple actions that everyone can take to reduce their carbon footprint, go to: www.austintexas.gov/climateaction
The City of Austin is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as strategies to become more resilient and adaptive to climate change impacts.