September 13, 2018 -- Joining world leaders at the Global Climate Action Summit today in San Francisco, Mayor Sylvester Turner will announce the city’s Climate Action Plan as he highlights Houston’s recovery and resiliency progress in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
His presentation is part of a global discussion at the summit on how communities can mitigate climate risk through greenhouse gas reductions.
One of the few mayors to speak at the summit, Mayor Turner will share ways cities like Houston can do their part to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, including the development of a Climate Action Plan.
Although famous for its oil and gas industry, Houston is the largest municipal user of renewable energy in the US and has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 35% since 2007. The Houston Climate Action Plan will be the first community-wide effort to identify cost-effective and practical measures for the City to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions.
“Climate change is an unprecedented challenge for Houston,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Sustainability and resiliency go hand-in-hand, and if we don’t move with a sense of urgency, our City will suffer. We’re creating the City’s first-ever Climate Action Plan to lay the foundation for action that will strengthen our community against the threat of our changing climate.”
The plan is generously funded by CenterPoint Energy and the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation. Support from both the private and not-for-profit sector demonstrates the growing community support for the City to continue to accelerate its focus on reducing emissions and improving overall quality of life. The goal of the plan is for the City to bring together stakeholders from across the community to develop a variety of cost-effective energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation measures that will reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions and uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The City is partnering with the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), a regional sustainability research institute to help lead the development of the plan and with C40, a global non-profit that works with cities to develop and implement plans to mitigate carbon risk. Together, the team will be looking to the community for ideas and recommendations to ensure a plan is developed that matches the ethos of Houston. With a target completion date of December 2019, the publication of the plan will allow the City to start in 2020 with a defined path forward to reduce carbon emissions and continue to lead global cities in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Climate Action Plan will only be successful if it represents the will of the entire community,” said Mayor Turner. “We have a lot at stake. Every Houstonian needs to get involved and share their vision for a more sustainable and resilient Houston.”
"Visit http://www.greenhoustontx.gov/climateactionplan.html to learn more about the plan and sign up for updates.”
Mayor Turner is a co-chair of Climate Mayors, a group of over 300 mayors of cities from coast to coast working together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to support efforts for binding federal and global-level policymaking. For 2017, nearly 90% of Houston’s energy comes from renewable sources – including the recent launch and expansion of the City’s 50MW solar power purchase agreement – and Houston has reduced municipal greenhouse gas emission by 35% since 2007. In addition to Climate Mayors, Mayor Turner is a member of the C40 Alliance of Cities, the Carbon Disclosure Project, and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. For more information, visit www.greenhoustontx.gov.
HARC, a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated as Houston Advanced Research Center, located in The Woodlands, TX, is a research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers. We are focused on building a sustainable future that helps people thrive and nature flourish.