Climate Action Plans
Nestled high in the Sonoran desert 40 miles north-east of Phoenix, Rio Verde, Arizona is an active community sitting along the western edge of the Verde River and adjacent to McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Known for its spectacular mountain views, its serenity, and its outstanding services and amenities, the Rio Verde residents are involved in a process to ensure sustained sensitivity to the land, water, and cultural heritage of the area. This small, planned community of 1,400 residents is working with a non-profit partner to protect and enhance the environment while advancing economic development and preserving a vibrant social fabric. Rio Verde residents take part in a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities that include golf, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Respecting the desert's ecological limits is an essential element to preserving this way of life.
On January 28, 2013 Missoula City Council unanimously adopted the Missoula Conservation & Climate Action Plan. This Plan, which focuses wholly on municipal operations, sets a goal for the City to be carbon neutral by 2025 by reducing operating costs, reducing energy use and cutting carbon emissions. Using a series of conservation and carbon reduction measures along with the development of and investment in carbon offset projects. Missoula's plan aims to make their government operations carbon neutral, lowering their net greenhouse gas emission to zero.
To support their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Gila River Indian Reservation applied for a Climate Showcase Communities Grant, a program launched by the EPA in 2009 to assist local and tribal governments in establishing and implementing climate change initiatives. The EPA offers peer exchange, training, and technical support to its grant recipients and encourages other municipalities to replicate these programs in their own communities. The Gila River Indian Community submitted a proposal to reduce the GHG emissions through the development of an innovative climate projects coordination structure. Highlights include implementing a recycling program, focusing on renewable energy, and promoting green building.
When the Kyoto Protocol was passed in 1997, communities in the United States took the initiative to pass climate mitigation and adaptation policies. Smaller amenity communities like Boulder, Colorado recognized the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and understood that they could become a role model for adopting exemplary environmental practices. In 2002, the Boulder City Council passed the Kyoto Resolution which set the goal of reducing community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to seven percent below 1990 levels by 2012. In 2006, Boulder released their Climate Action Plan which outlined specific actions to be implemented from 2007-2012 to meet their GHG emission reduction goals. These strategies focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reducing vehicle miles travelled.
In 2006, the Las Vegas City Council adopted a Climate Protection Resolution (R57-2006), rousing the City to become a model for sustainability through reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by lowering energy consumption, developing infrastructure to facilitate sustainable development, and supporting efforts to improve air quality and conserve non-renewable resources. In 2008, the acceptance of the Joint Workshop Report and the "Sustain Las Vegas" Policy made it abundantly clear that it was no longer sufficient to allocate public resources based solely on financial reasons, but that environmental health, economic strength, and social well-being are equally important considerations when making decisions.