Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables - April 23, 2020
Houston launches Climate Action Plan
The City of Houston, Texas, announced April 22 their sweeping Climate Action Plan, including a target to reduce emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
A key goal of the Climate Action Plan is following through on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Resilient Houston plan to increase the city’s resilience strategy as climate change threatens the city, an initiative that picked up steam after the destruction of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The Houston Climate Plan has four main areas of focus: transportation, energy transition, building optimization and materials management.
- Convert non-emergency, light-duty municipal fleet to 100% EV by 2030
- Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita 20% by 2050
- Provide equitable and safe mobility choices by achieving zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Houston street by 2030; integrate 500 miles of high-comfort bike lanes by 2025
- 5 million MWh local solar per year by 2050
- Attract or incubate 50 Energy 2.0 companies in Greater Houston by 2025
- 4.6 million new native trees planted by 2030
- Reduce building energy use and adopt the 2021 ICC model building code by 2025 with a maximum 5-year update
- Double the current number of PACE projects by 2025
- 70% of non-residential buildings operated by trained building operators by 2025
- Reduce residential waste by 50% by 2040
- Convert municipal solid waste fleet to low-emission vehicles by 2030
- Adopt Long Range Solid Waste Plan in 2020
“I am proud to introduce the city of Houston's first Climate Action Plan. These are difficult and challenging times, but this is a historic moment for the City of Houston,” Mayor Turner said in a statement. “While we are currently forced to change the way we physically do business, our work must go on. We must deal with the challenges facing us today and prepare for those facing us tomorrow. No other city is better suited to tackle climate change than Houston. That’s why we chose today – the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day – to release our Climate Action Plan and let everyone know that although it seems like every aspect of our lives has changed, we are more committed than ever to building a more sustainable and resilient Houston.”
Due to previous climate efforts, the city has reduced municipal emissions by 37% since 2005 by upgrading building efficiency, investing in renewable energy and converting to electric, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles. 92% of municipal facilities are powered by renewable energy.