The city of Ann Arbor, MI recently published a draft of its climate action plan – A2Zero – which has the aim of reaching carbon neutrality in the city by the year 2030. A2Zero addresses four sectors: energy, mobility, resource reduction and adaptation, and resilience.
Ann Arbor’s Office of Sustainability and Innovations has defined six core strategies required to achieve this goal:
- powering the electric grid with 100% renewable energy;
- switching appliances and vehicles from gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas to electric;
- improving buildings’ energy efficiency throughout the city;
- reducing miles traveled in personal vehicles by at least 50%;
- changing waste disposal and reuse methods; and,
- enhancing resilience.
To achieve carbon neutrality, the city must eliminate 2.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually – the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions emitted, as an entire community, in 2018. The city has identified 44 actions to fully implement these strategies with a projected cost of just over $1 billion US over the next ten years. Ann Arbor expects a minimum staffing of 15 full-time equivalent employees to implement the plan, along with a varying number of consultants.
Missy Stults, the city’s Sustainability and Innovations Manager, said the coronavirus outbreak has made officials think harder about how they can fast-track Ann Arbor to stronger resiliency, so it can deal with the next pandemic or extreme weather event.
“This is a moment, at least for me, of deep reflection about what it means to create a resilient community, what it means to be a resilient household, what it means to be nested in a resilient neighborhood,” Stults said.