Planning Group Supports Climate Action Plan

A draft climate action plan for the city of Ann Arbor, two years in the making, was endorsed by Ann Arbor planning commissioners at their Nov. 20, 2012  meeting. [.pdf of executive summary] The plan’s goals include a 25% reduction in community greenhouse emissions (over the year 2000 baseline levels) by 2025. This is the same goal set by the University of Michigan. In the shorter term, the goal is a reduction of 8% in emissions by 2015. Long-term, a 90% reduction is sought by 2050.

The plan provides a range of strategies for achieving these goals, divided into four categories: (1) energy and buildings, (2) land use and access, (3) resource management, and (4) community and health. Examples of about 80 recommended actions include weatherizing existing housing stock, maximizing the purchase of renewable energy, providing incentives for the use of public transit, adopting a water conservation ordinance, and starting a community “net-zero” home-building/renovation contest. [.pdf list of actions]

Development of the plan was funded by a two-year $50,000 pollution prevention grant that the city received in 2010 from the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality. The effort has been spearheaded by the city’s energy commission, which formed a task force to work on the project. Members included planning commissioner Bonnie Bona, who has given periodic updates to the planning commission. Planning commissioners were informally briefed on the plan at a Nov. 13 working session by Nate Geisler of the city’s energy office.

Both the energy and environmental commissions recommended approval of the plan at their October 2012 meetings. These recommendations will be forwarded to the city council for consideration.

This brief was filed from the second-floor city council chambers at city hall, 301 E. Huron, where the planning commission meets. A more detailed report will follow: [link]