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Austin Climate Protection Plan

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The Austin Climate Protection Plan will make Austin the leading city in the nation in the fight against global warming.

The broad elements of the plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions include:

Municipal Plan

Make all City of Austin (COA) facilities, fleets, and operations totally carbon-neutral by 2020.

  • Power 100% of city facilities with renewable energy by 2012.
  • Make entire city fleet carbon-neutral by 2020 through use of electric power and non-petroleum fuels (with alt fuel emissions offset through mitigation).
  • Develop departmental climate protection plans, including: policies, procedures, targets, and reporting for maximum achievable reduction of GHG emissions and energy consumption in all city departments.
  • Develop a COA employee climate education campaign; and programs and incentives to help employees reduce personal carbon footprint and engage in community outreach for climate protection.

Utility Plan

Implements the most aggressive utility GHG-reduction plan in the nation through dramatic increases in conservation, efficiency, and renewable programs; requirements for carbon neutrality on any new generation; and by early retirement of existing utility GHG emissions.

  • Achieve 800 MW in savings through energy efficiency and demand side management by 2020.
  • Meet 35% of all energy needs through renewable resources by 2020, including 200 MW of solar power, 100 MW of which will be local solar.
  • Reduce carbon dioxide (CO2 power plant emissions) 20% below 2005 levels by 2020.

Homes and Buildings Plan

Makes Austin building codes for both residential and commercial properties the most energy efficient in the nation.

  • Make all new single-family homes zero net-energy capable by 2015.
  • Increase energy efficiency in all other new construction by 75% by 2015.
  • Require disclosure of historic energy use, facilitate, and require energy efficiency improvements in existing homes and buildings at point of sale.
  • Enhance incentives and requirements for Green Building program; develop “carbon neutral” certification.

Community Plan

Develops a comprehensive plan for reducing GHG emissions from sources community-wide.

  • Establish City Climate Action Team to inventory GHG emissions from activities community-wide; work with stakeholders and technical advisors; and report to Council in one year with recommendations for short-term and long-term reduction targets and implementation strategies for the metro area. Key areas for study include:
    • Transportation
    • Land Use Planning
    • Emerging Technologies
    • Waste Management
    • Natural Areas and Landscapes
    • Multigenerational Education

“Go Neutral” Plan

Provides mechanisms for all businesses and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint to zero.

  • Develop online “carbon footprint calculator” for individuals and small businesses, and provide individually-tailored assessments for complex organizations and entities.
  • Develop a menu of local GHG reduction strategies citizens, businesses, and organizations can fund through the purchase of “carbon offset” credits.
  • Develop program for recognition of households, businesses, and groups achieving carbon neutrality.
  • Promote carbon neutrality among visitors by providing mechanisms and incentives for the purchase of offset credits by airport travelers, conventions, trade shows, and festivals.

Learn More


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