Imagine it is 2030 and Flagstaff is carbon neutral. What actions did we take to get there?
We want to hear from you.
The aggressive goal of carbon neutrality means that our community will need to mobilize quickly to transform our activities and systems. We want to know what actions you want and expect to see to get Flagstaff to carbon neutrality.
When you think about the steps it takes to get Flagstaff to carbon neutrality in 2030, what actions do you think of?
On June 23, 2020, the Flagstaff City Council declared a Climate Emergency. The Declaration commits Flagstaff to updating its Climate Action and Adaptation Plan to achieve community-wide carbon neutrality by the year 2030.
Learn more about the emergency declaration, including the citizen petition and the actions the declaration calls for, on the climate emergency web page.
To mobilize resources to respond to this emergency, the City will revise the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan to reflect the new goal of carbon neutrality, while supporting a collaborative climate action mobilization that requires full community participation.
What is carbon neutrality?
Carbon neutrality means reducing our net greenhouse gas emissions to zero. Here, we use 'carbon' to refer to carbon dioxide (CO2) - one of the most important greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gas emissions are how the Flagstaff community contributes to climate change, through the use of fossil fuels and the consumption of goods.
Carbon neutrality envisions a community that first reduces the emissions produced by the community to every extent possible. After maximizing reductions, it is likely that there will still be emissions that could not be avoided (Emissions Remaining). To account for the Emissions Remaining, the community would then take action to remove emissions from the atmosphere (Emissions Removed).
When the Emissions Removed = Emissions Remaining, it can be said that the net greenhouse gas emissions of the community are zero, that carbon neutrality has been achieved and that our impact on the climate is neutral.
Why carbon neutrality?
Carbon neutrality is required to minimize the negative effects of global climate change - a crisis that will affect everyone around the world, but will affect vulnerable communities most severely.
Carbon neutrality is so important because it not only avoids harm, but also has innumerable benefits. It will require making homes and buildings far more energy efficient - so that they are more comfortable and affordable in all seasons. It will require reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled by car, which means it will make it easier for people to travel by bus, biking, or walking. It will mean less food waste and more food made available for people in need.
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