June 2, 2020 - Ann Arbor City Council members during the June 1, 2020, meeting, unanimously adopted a living plan that outlines how the entire Ann Arbor community can achieve a just transition to carbon neutrality by the year 2030. The plan stems from a Nov. 4, 2019, climate emergency declaration by City Council that charged staff with creating a comprehensive plan for achieving carbon neutrality, in partnership with the community.
“The fight against climate change is the defining challenge of our time. It necessitates bold, ambitious and immediate action," said Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor. “Over the last several months, our amazing staff came together with community members, organizations and experts to craft the A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan. With today's vote, Ann Arbor has committed to do its part, to do the hard, transformative work to meet our carbon neutrality goals."
The plan outlines seven overarching strategies and 44 actions to reduce climate pollution and enhance resilience. A core tenant of the plan is social equity, ensuring that the concerns of the most vulnerable, frontline populations, and the traditionally disenfranchised, are centered in the quest toward carbon neutrality.
“The A2Zero Plan establishes a roadmap for where the community is headed. The actions outlined in the plan are not set in stone, but are living, allowing us to adjust as new technologies or opportunities emerge," said Ann Arbor City Council Member Kathy Griswold. “Achieving carbon neutrality will necessitate that we all work together, and I believe our community is ready for this challenge."
The adoption of the A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan builds on decades of climate work in the city, including solar installations on city properties, progress toward electrifying the city's fleet, the creation of a new solar bulk buy program to assist residents with purchasing solar at a discount, the exploration of a 24-megawatt solar installation at the city's closed landfill, and support with the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to get affordable housing sites close to net zero energy.
“Today is a day to celebrate the hard work of our community, staff and partners. A2Zero will help ensure Ann Arbor remains a world class city and a leader in climate action and environmental stewardship," said Missy Stults, the city's sustainability and innovations manager.
The A2Zero Plan is supported by a governance framework that outlines how the plan will remain dynamic, a prioritization framework that allows new ideas to be evaluated for inclusion into the living plan, and an investment scenario which discusses one possible path for how the actions outlined in the plan could be financed. These materials can all be found at www.a2zero.org.
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