89.1 WEMU

Issues Of The Environment: Ann Arbor’s Ambitious Plan For Carbon Neutrality By 2030

Jul 8, 2020

Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Despite this year's focus on the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest, climate change remains a great threat to the world.  This past June, Ann Arbor city officials took a major step in fighting this crisis by approving the "A2 Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan."  The overall goal is for the city of Ann Arbor to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.  Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor details the plan further in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair for this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Overview

  • Ann Arbor’s A2Zero plan states, “Simply defined, carbon neutrality is where the net amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere is reduced to zero by taking local actions to minimize those emissions and/or by purchasing greenhouse gas emissions offsets.  Ann Arbor regularly conducts a greenhouse gas emissions inventory to track our emissions.  From this, we know that community-wide emissions, as of 2018, were 2.1 million metric tons.  This means that we have to devise a plan to reduce emissions by 2.1 million metric tons over the next 10 years.”
  • The ambitious goal set out 40 specific actions around a framework of 6 goals, including reducing vehicle miles traveled by at least 50%, switching appliances and vehicles from gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas to electric, and improving energy efficiency of homes, businesses, schools, places of worship, recreational sites, and government facilities. 
  • Plan costs are estimated at $1 billion over the life of the 10-year plan.
  • Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor says, “Even during the COVID-19 global pandemic, we face no greater threat than climate change.”  He believes the spending is vital, and the plan is doable.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu