Mayor Kate Gallego and The Phoenix City Council Commit to Zero Net Emissions by 2050

Many Arizona cities and towns are fortunate to have local leaders like Tucson’s Regina Romero and Phoenix’s Kate Gallego that are committed to reducing pollution, combatting climate change, and building a cleaner sustainable future for community residents.

Yesterday (October 12, 2021,) Mayor Gallego and the Phoenix City Council committed to a comprehensive action plan that would create “a roadmap to cut emissions and build a more resilient city by approving the City’s comprehensive action plan to reach its net-zero goal a decade or more earlier.”

The goals expressed in this roadmap include:

  • A carbon-neutral city by 2050 operating on 100% clean energy.
  • ​​All new buildings are “net positive” by 2050 in both energy use and materials
    Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction targets:
    15% by 2015 for City Operations achieved
    30% by 2025 community-wide (Paris-compliant) on track
    40% by 2025 (City Operations only) on track
    100​% by 2050 community-wide by 2050
  • Clean Air – meeting federal standards by 2050.
  • Zero waste through the circular economy.
  • A 100-year supply of clean and reliable water.
  • Create a vibrant healthy food system by 2050 with zero food deserts.​​​​​

Commenting after the City Council action, Mayor Gallego stated:

Phoenix mayor Kate Gallego shows off a roof fitted with solar panels Photo from AARP

“Today’s action builds on my commitment to strengthen climate initiatives for the good of Phoenix and the state of Arizona and to deliver on a global promise for world health and security. I’m proud to lead a city that has already launched the first publicly funded Office of Heat Response and Mitigation, invested in innovative cool solutions for our hot climate, and championed water-wise initiatives that have resulted in a 30-percent reduction in consumption even with an added 400,000 new residents.”

“Part of our charge is to conduct modeling of our proposed climate actions. For Phoenix, our net-zero goal is community-wide, not just for city operations. It will take a cross-sector approach, overlaid by a comprehensive plan that includes water conservation and heat mitigation strategies.”

The Mayor and the Phoenix City Council have already helped pave the way for these initiatives by:

Mayor Kate Gallego with Phoenix Councilwoman Yassamin Ansari. Photo from Office of Mayor Kate Gallego
  • “Approving a $2.8 million 2021-2022 Budget specifically for climate and heat-related staff, resources, and investments.
  • Reducing its investment in fossil fuels to zero dollars.
  • Achieving a 40-percent increase in green bonds.
  • Increasing investment in tree plantings to continue to grow the City’s tree canopy.”
  • Working to expand electric vehicle charging stations in Phoenix.
  • Making it easier for Phoenix residents to install solar panels.

Mayor Gallego and the Phoenix City Council’s efforts, like those of other Arizona Mayors and councils like Tucson’s Mayor Romero, demonstrate again that the best way to achieve positive and forward change for the community starts at the local level.

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