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HARC’s Work on City of Houston’s Climate Action Plan Reaches Milestone

Posting Date: 
Monday, August 26, 2019

The development of the City of Houston’s community Climate Action Plan (CAP) hit a milestone last month with the release of a draft of the plan. During an announcement and presentation by Mayor Sylvester Turner, he outlined the draft which is divided into four areas: building optimization, energy transition, materials management and transportation. Each includes a list of goals, strategies and actions. A CAP will enable Houston to develop strategies and evidence-based measures that help minimize the city’s carbon footprint and the negative outcomes of climate change, and create more resilient communities, reduce harmful pollution, cut energy waste, and boost the local economy.

This roadmap for the City, businesses, residents, and communities will analyze current emission sources and evaluate the health, safety, and economic benefits of various development and policy options that could bring Houston closer to a carbon-neutral future. As sustainability and resiliency go hand in hand, the plan is also a critical component of the City’s Resilience Strategy – currently in development – and recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey.

With the goal of “Carbon Neutral by 2050” guiding objectives in the planning process are efficiency, cost savings, and quality of life for residents. As the City and its citizens consider practices and technologies that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, social equity is the lens through which solutions are considered. The City recognizes the co-benefits associated with climate action planning.

HARC serves as the technical advisor and research leader on the project. Directed by a team including Dr. Gavin Dillingham, Marina Badoian-Kriticos, and Dr. Meredith Jennings, researchers will provide expertise and modeling to support development of the most effective climate mitigation measures in the region. HARC’s ongoing work on matters of regional resilience provide a context for these efforts.

A draft of the Climate Action Plan can be accessed here: http://greenhoustontx.gov/climateactionplan/2019-DRAFT-CAP.pdf. Until Saturday, August 31, you can submit comments on the draft by visiting here: http://greenhoustontx.gov/climateactionplan/public-comment.html. The final draft will be completed in December 2019.