Attachment C

Examples of Climate Protection Efforts


The following are examples of policies, projects and programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cities and counties across the country have implemented. The information is presented in the categories of 1) Land Use Management and Urban Forestry, 2) Transportation Planning, 3) Green Power, 4) Energy Efficiency, 5) Green Building, 6) Recycling and Waste Reduction, and 7) Education and Outreach. Asterisks (*) are provided where Albemarle County has either implemented such a program already, or made some progress in this area.


1)       Land Use Management

The way in which land is managed has significant implications for climate change. A community design that discourages sprawl translates into fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and therefore less global warming pollution. Preserving open spaces is also important in that trees and vegetation can be significant “carbon sinks” and deterrents of climate change.


Government Operation Measures

·         Plant shade trees in/around local government buildings and parking lots

·         Co-locate facilities to reduce travel time


Community Measures

·         Promote tree planning to increase shading and absorption of CO2

·         Preserve open space*

·         Promote high-density and in-fill development through zoning policies*

·         Institute growth boundaries, ordinances or programs to limit sprawl*

·         Provide incentives for development in existing urban areas and areas near public transit

·         Adopt a Tree Ordinance



·         City of Newark, New York - Tree Planting Initiative – in 2004 Newark planted 500 trees in strategic areas to employ the trees’ energy efficiency and air pollution reduction benefits.

·         County of Miami-Dade, Florida – Miami-Dade revised their landscape code to require strategic tree planting


2)       Transportation Planning

One of the leading causes of global warming is automobile use. Every gallon of gasoline burned emits 20 pounds of CO2, the most significant global warming pollutant.


Government Operation Measures

·         Encourage car-pooling, van-pooling and mass transit use by employees

·         Encourage telecommuting

·         Establish a no-idling policy for fleet vehicles

·         Provide bicycles for short-distance travel

·         Purchase and use fuel efficient (e.g. hybrid) vehicles*

·         Purchase and use alternative fuel vehicles (flex-fuel) for fleet*

·         Use biodiesel in fire engines, school buses and larger vehicles*


Community Measures

·         Promote car sharing programs (e.g. RideShare)

·         Restrict idling at public facilities

·         Dedicate lanes for shared means of transportation, such as buses

·         Promote community purchase and use of hybrid, flex-fuel and alternative fuel vehicles

·         Encourage bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in development





3)       Green Power

Green power is electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources, as opposed to fossil fuel-based power.  These renewable energy sources emit now or very low global warming pollutants.



Government Operation Measures

·         Purchase green electricity from solar, geothermal or wind sources

·         Purchase renewable or “green” energy certificates

·         Install solar panels on municipal facilities

·         Encourage generation of electricity from landfill or methane


Community Measures

·         Promote green power purchasing in community through education campaigns

·         Offer incentives for solar panel installation and use in community



·         City of Portland, Oregon – Portland’s Local Action Plan requires the City to acquire 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2010. In order to meet this goal, the City has invested in hydroelectric turbines in is drinking water reservoir system and a fuel cell powered by waste methane. In 2003, the City purchased green energy certificates representing nearly 44 million kilo watt hours of wind power – enough to supply nearly 4,000 homes for one year.


4)       Energy Efficiency

Increasing energy efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Government Operation Measures

·         Partner with ENERGY STAR to reduce energy use in buildings*

·         Develop Energy Management Policy to reduce energy use*

·         Procure only ENERGY STAR certified equipment

·         Install occupancy sensors and other technologies to reduce energy consumption*

·         Implement energy tracking system*

·         Install energy efficient parking and street lights

·         Install green or reflective roofing*


Community Measures

·         Adopt stringent residential or commercial energy code requirements

·         Promote energy conservation through education campaigns aimed at residents and businesses

·         Launch an “energy efficiency challenge” campaign for residents

·         Promote the purchase of ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics

·         Promote water conservation*



·         State of Massachusetts – the State has included ENERGY STAR standards in all of its procurement specifications for computers, fax machines, copiers, printers, and other office equipment.

·         Several counties in Virginia have very aggressive energy conservation programs, such as Arlington, Fairfax and Montgomery counties.


5)       Green Building

Green buildings, including buildings designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, use far less energy than conventional buildings.


Government Operation Measures

·         Require all new construction projects to be LEED certified*

·         Require all retrofit projects to become LEED certified


Community Measures

·         Provide green building information to the public*

·         Encourage incentives (e.g. permit fast-tracking) or mandate developers to construct LEED certified buildings and homes



·         County of Arlington, Virginia – Arlington County has implemented a green building incentive program, whereby developers are awarded density bonuses for LEED certification. However, because developers get the bonuses upfront before the sometimes-lengthy process of determining whether a project will achieve certification is complete, the developers must contribute money on a $/square foot basis to a Green Building Fund. If the developer achieves LEED certification, the developer gets the money back from the Green Building Fund; however, if the developer fails to achieve LEED certification, the money stays in the fund and can be used by Arlington County as a way to further environmental and sustainability programs.

·         County of Fairfax, Virginia – Fairfax County recently adopted a Comprehensive Plan amendment, which establishes the expectation that all projects coming through the planning process (rezoning, special exception) be LEED certified, at a minimum


6)       Recycling and Waste Reduction

Reducing the amount of refuse and waste that go to landfills greatly reduces the methane (CH4) emissions from landfills.


Government Operation Measures

·         Establish and expand recycling programs*

·         Implement yard debris collection programs and composting

·         Establish construction and demolition waste recycling program

·         Implement environmentally preferable purchasing program*


Community Measures

·         Establish/expand recycling programs and set aggressive recycling goals

·         Educate and encourage public to recycle



·         County of Montgomery, Maryland – Montgomery County retrofitted a landfill into an energy source by installing a gas collection system for the Gude Southlawn Sanitary Landfill in Rockville, MD. Forty-four wells were established to feed an on-site generation facility with two generators to recover the landfill gas and turn it into electricity.

·         City of Seattle, Washington – Seattle has passed an ordinance prohibiting the disposal of certain recyclables from residential, commercial, and self-haul garbage by law. The new ordinance is aimed at eliminating recyclable or compostable paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and yard debris that, until recently, have constituted approximately 25% of the City’s garbage.


7)       Education and Outreach

Daily choices that residents make can significantly impact climate change and global warming. Educating both government staff and the public is one of the most crucial steps in changing behavior that leads to climate change.


Government Operation Measures

·         Educate staff about climate change and global warming pollution


Community Measures

·         Educate the public (schools, businesses, residents, and industry) about the importance of reducing global warming pollution, and provide examples of steps they can take to do so



·         City of Burlington, Vermont – the “10 Percent Challenge” is a voluntary program that aims to raise public awareness about global climate change and encourage households and businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10 percent. Innovative outreach methods such as musical road shows have been implemented, and the program is achieving an estimated annual reduction of 1,500 tons of CO2 in the residential sector alone.

·         Vancouver, British Columbia – “One Day” is the City of Vancouver’s community engagement process in support of its Climate Action Plan. The process is about taking small steps to reduce energy use at home and on the road. The program emphasizes the small first steps that citizens can take in every day life. One Day works with youth, community groups, and business leaders to seed the program in schools, workplaces, businesses, neighborhoods, coffee shops, etc.


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