Ann Arbor Council Acts on Climate Plan

A climate action plan was adopted by a unanimous vote of the Ann Arbor city council at its Dec. 17, 2012 meeting.

Also at the meeting, the council passed a separate resolution that urges the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce the Clean Air Act. A 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case gave the EPA the authority to regulate emission of green house gases (GHGs) as pollutants – such as water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and ozone (O3).

Ann Arbor’s climate action plan calls for a reduction in GHG emissions of 8% by 2015, 25% by 2025, and 90% by 2050. Baseline for the reductions are 2000 levels. The action steps identified in the climate action plan are divided into four main categories: energy and buildings; land use and access; resource management; community and health. Those categories align with the city’s sustainability framework. The plan is also coordinated with a similar effort by the University of Michigan.

Examples of the 84 separate individual actions include: weatherizing existing housing stock; creating a program that provides incentives to employees and residents who choose to live within two miles of their job; increasing residential and commercial greywater use; and implementing a community net-zero energy home building/renovation contest. [.jpg of graph showing projected impact of action plan on GHG] According to the staff memo accompanying the resolution, adoption of the climate action plan does not commit the city to expenditures or obligations.

The climate action plan was recommended for adoption by the city planning commission at its Nov. 20, 2012 meeting.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]