CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - Starting this month, the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia – building upon a history of commitments on sustainability and climate action – will be embarking on a collaborative community outreach effort as each entity begins to update their greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets and develop climate action plans (CAPs). The results of these efforts will serve to guide climate action in the Charlottesville area for the next 10-30 years.
To enable broad community engagement and participation in informing these commitments, the three organizations are coordinating their outreach efforts across their sustainability offices. Residents, businesses, and area stakeholders are encouraged to get involved and participate in this collaboration – starting today.
The community is encouraged to go to ClimateActionTogether.org to learn about specific participation opportunities, previous regional climate action efforts, and more information about each organization’s efforts.
“Across the country, the places we live, visit, and value are threatened by a changing climate. The amount of CO2 we spew into the air and the contaminated runoff we spill into our rivers every day are literally cooking our planet and changing the chemistry of the oceans.
According to Dr. Richard Jackson, “We are no longer creating wellbeing.” Charlottesville City has long been a leader in sustainability, but in light of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, more must be done and now. That’s why we need as many people as possible to join us in a collaborative effort with Albemarle County and the University of Virginia to set new, ambitious climate goals and action plans. The health and well-being of our planet and our people depend on it.”
~ Kathleen M. Galvin, Charlottesville City Councilor
“Our constituents have consistently expressed that it is important for our organizations to cooperate with each other in addressing common issues. Climate change is a global challenge affecting us all. This collaboration will allow the residents and businesses in our region to speak out and be involved in the climate action planning process knowing that the County, City, and UVA are working on this important issue together.”
~ Norman Dill, Albemarle County Board of Supervisor
“As these are global issues that extend beyond geographical boundaries, and with a regionally intertwined community and economy, input provided by the community has value to each organization. It is our hope that collaboration and coordination will make it easier for the community to engage on this important topic.”
~ Colette Sheehy, University of Virginia Senior Vice President of Operations
This collaboration builds on a regional climate initiative by the City, County, and UVA completed in 2011 – the Local Climate Action Planning Process (LCAPP). While LCAPP culminated with broad strategy recommendations, the current climate action planning processes will be more action-oriented. As each organization develops specific long-term targets and action plans to fit their unique composition and circumstances, they will benefit through sharing ideas and resources, building upon each other’s work, and collaboratively engaging with the community.
CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE:
The City of Charlottesville first committed to greenhouse gas reductions by joining the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2006. This commitment has been restated in the City Council Vision 2025: A Green City, Comprehensive Plans, and by joining the Global Compact of Mayors. As part of the Global Compact of Mayors, Charlottesville has committed to a phased process for climate action including an updated inventory (by June 2018), setting a new target (by June 2019), and creating a new plan (by June 2020). An update on the City’s process is included in the November 19, 2018 City Council Agenda Packet.
The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution on September 6, 2017 re-affirming the County’s commitment to addressing climate change. The Board resolved to continue to stand with cities, counties, and other public and private sector partners throughout the world to advance action in accordance with local and international goals. The current Climate Action Plan (CAP) process will address a directive in the Board’s FY20-22 Strategic Plan to “develop/implement phase one of the Climate Action Plan to include high-level goals and strategies focused around climate protection and resiliency to locally address climate change.” The resolution further committed to coordinate with community partners – such as the City of Charlottesville, the University of Virginia, and local stakeholders – to develop a Climate Action Plan that included a specific goal for greenhouse gas reduction.
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA:
The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors approved a resolution in 2011 to set a greenhouse gas reduction goal (25% reduction below 2009 levels by 2025), with an update in 2013 to include nitrogen. In 2015, the University collaboratively developed its first strategic plan for sustainability (UVA Sustainability Plan 2016-2020) and a second, updated, Greenhouse Gas Action Plan (2016). As of calendar year 2017, UVA reduced emissions by 18.9% despite significant building and population growth. The University expects to meet its reduction goal ahead of schedule and is now in the process of setting a new climate target and developing a new sustainability plan for 2030 and beyond.