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Commitments on Climate Action
The City of Charlottesville first committed to greenhouse gas reductions by joining the US 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 (now renamed to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy).
By joining the Global Covenant of Mayors, Charlottesville has committed to taking action in three phases that include requirements for climate mitigation and climate adaptation. For climate mitigation: Phase 1 - Inventory. Phase 2 - Target. Phase 3 - Plan. For climate adaptation: Phase 1 - Identification of Climate Hazards. Phase 2 - Assessment of Hazards. Phase 3 - Plan.
The City reports its progress annually through the global reporting platform, CDP. The Global Covenant of Mayors works with CDP to share data, progress, and successes of its member cities. Additionally, links to the City Council Agenda Packets with updates or actions on this topic are listed below.
- November 19, 2018 City Council Agenda Packet (Phase 1 Inventory and Phase 2 Target (upcoming process and timeline))
- May 6, 2019 City Council Agenda Packet (Phase 2 Target (community input & draft target recommendations) and Phase 3 (directive to include certain topics in the action plan)
- July 1, 2019 City Council Agenda Packet (Phase 2 Target (adoption of new target) and Phase 3 (directive to develop a climate action plan)
Phase 3: Climate Action Planning
Following the adoption of a greenhouse gas reduction target, the City of Charlottesville will develop a climate action plan. City Council passed resolutions on May 6, 2019 and July 1, 2019 directing that the Climate Action Plan be developed pursuant to the adopted reduction goal and include the following aspects:
- Front Load Reductions – pursue steeper reductions in the near term
- Identify of Sub-Goals by Sector and by Strategy in the Climate Action Plan
- Address Equity Specifically in Goals and the Climate Action Plan
- Identify Measurement Frequency & Accountability Mechanisms
- Addresses Funding and Financing Options to Enable and Support Private Sector Action
Additionally, the Climate Action Plan will include, but not be limited to, strategies that address:
- Further enabling private financial sector investment in energy performance upgrades for commercial properties in the City of Charlottesville through adoption of a commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing program; and
- Effective funding programs and models for increased residential energy performance, including programs that are compatible with affordable housing and owner or renter-occupied housing; and
- The feasibility of integrating zero emission vehicles into the municipal fleet and supporting increased community adoption of zero emission vehicles; and
- Working in conjunction with regional partners to implement seamless programs and services to increase ease of participation for Charlottesville organizations and residents.
GHG Emissions Reduction Goal
Adopted on July 1, 2019: The City of Charlottesville adopts the goal of 45% reduction in community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 target from its 2011 inventory year, and the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Background: Public comment was open February through March 17, 2019 to inform a staff presentation and draft recommendation of a reduction goal to Council as part of the May 6, 2019 City Council meeting. Following the May 6th presentation, public comment was accepted through May 31, 2019 on the draft recommendations and to inform a proposal to City Council on July 1, 2019.
Climate Action Together in the Charlottesville-Albemarle-UVA Region
Over 2019, the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia are each be making new commitments for climate action. Building upon our region’s history of commitments to sustainability and climate action, sustainability staff from the three organizations are collaborating on community outreach. Community engagement and public input are an important part of the collaborative process, and we invite the community to participate to help advance climate action in our region.
Information on the concurrent climate action processes in the Charlottesville-Albemarle-UVA region is available at:
Periodic reports on the emissions associated with activities within the City of Charlottesville's jurisdictional boundary are generated to measure and track community-wide greenhouse gas emissions. The 2016 Greenhouse Gas Inventory is the fifth emissions inventory compiled by the City of Charlottesville.
Energy use in all aspects of our lives — how we travel, how we live, how we care for our urban and rural landscapes, and how we produce the energy we use — is directly related to greenhouse gas emissions.
In May 2009, senior executives from the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle extended an invitation to local community representatives to serve on a multidisciplinary Steering Committee leading a Local Climate Action Planning Process (LCAPP). Over an 18-month period, the LCAPP Steering Committee, supported by a network of more than 50 local subject matter experts, local business representatives, and other interested parties, examined best practices to assess their appropriateness and effectiveness for our community.
The LCAPP Report documents this process, provides examples of existing efforts by the City, County, and University of Virginia to reduce energy use and emissions, a Five-Part Framework through which to view energy in our communities and associated action strategies, and Recommended Principles and Next Steps.
The elements of the Climate Change Protection Program support Charlottesville Climate Commitments, including:
US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (2006)
Comprehensive Plan (2007; 2013; 2018)
Charlottesville City Council Vision 2025: A Green City (2009)
Global Compact of Mayors (2017)