REDUCING OUR COMMUNITY'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE, SHAPING OUR FUTURE
A Bit of Background
Memphis and Shelby County are working to develop a Climate Action Plan - a strategic framework for measuring and reducing our carbon footprint that will sustain our community into the future. The planning process is being led by the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability. In collaboration with stakeholders from government, private business, utilities, nonprofit organizations, and the public, this planning process will identify actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address climate change, improve public health, and increase community sustainability.
What are the pieces of a climate action plan?
KNOW WHERE WE ARE - GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS INVENTORY
To reduce our community's carbon footprint, we first have to know where we stand now in terms of emissions. Our team has completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for Memphis and Shelby County using 2016 data. The major sources of emissions are building energy use, transportation, and waste disposal. This inventory will serve as the baseline for determining reduction goals and will inform the development of strategies to reduce emissions. In addition to the community-wide inventory, we will also determine the carbon footprint of local government operations.
DETERMINE WHERE WE WANT TO BE - SETTING CHALLENGING YET ACHIEVABLE GHG REDUCTION TARGETS
Using information from a variety of sources - the 2016 greenhouse gas emissions inventory, goals adopted by other cities, climate change science, current legal and political context, desired community economic, environmental, and social outcomes - we will set challenging yet attainable short-term and long-term reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions. These reduction targets will focus on the major sources of emissions - building energy use, transportation, and waste disposal/treatment.
SETTING THE COURSE FOR HOW WE GET THERE - ACTIONS AND STRATEGIES
To achieve our community-wide climate change goals, we must focus on implementation. As part of this planning process, we will identify a range of context-sensitive actions and strategies that will reduce our contributions to climate change. These actions focus on things like energy efficiency, developing cleaner sources of energy, reducing trips and lengths of vehicle trips, encouraging cleaner modes of transportation, reducing production of landfill waste, and improving recycling and reuse of solid waste.