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  • Sustainability plan charts path toward fulfilling climate mitigation goals

    Submitted by Office of Sustainability and Conservation
    Linda Mayro, Sherry Ruther, Julie Robinson and Sandra Maina

    Staff in the Office of Sustainability and Conservation is working to successfully meet the County’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for climate impacts using a new implementation plan for the County’s 2018-2025 Sustainable Action Plan for County Operations (SAPCO).

    Arizona’s water supply is projected to decline by 40 percent by 2050. Pima County’s temperatures may increase up to 10 degrees by 2099. Peak summer electricity rates in Arizona are projected to increase by 350 percent by 2050. Pima County recognizes the severe climate challenges we face and is now entering a new phase in joining regional, national, and global efforts to combat and adapt to the changes ahead.
    Paris Agreement
    In response to the passing of resolutions 2017-39 and 2017-51, the County strengthened its commitment to sustainability through the 2018-2025 Sustainable Action Plan for County Operations (SAPCO), which outlines 26 targets in accordance with the international Paris Agreement. 

    To ensure the County achieves SAPCO’s 2025 targets for climate mitigation and adaptation, staff at the Pima County Sustainability Division recently released the Implementation Plan (IP), a comprehensive framework that features a structured timeline of deliverables, identifies oversight responsibilities for Deputy County Administrators and Directors, and offers a robust decision-making tool to aid in prioritizing annual implementation strategies.

    Check out the Fiscal Year 2018/19 Baseline Sustainability Report published in July 2020 to see where the County stands now and what we need to achieve to reach our 2025 targets. 

    What can you do to help Pima County’s sustainability efforts? Spread the word about our historic sustainability commitment that builds on over 15 years of award-wining work (see a timeline here). In the months and years to come, you can also show your support as department-level SAPCO efforts roll out, including a forthcoming Green Stewards Program that all employees are invited to participate in!

    At the individual level, County employees can make contributions too! Here’s how:
    • Consider practicing electricity and water conservation while at work;
    • Be creative in minimizing the number of times per week you drive to work alone;
    • Purchase green products; and
    • Recommit to recycling (clean) materials. 
    We have recognized the critical importance of addressing climate change since 2007, and we now hope to work closely with our regional partner, the City of Tucson, given their recent declaration of a citywide Climate Emergency. Working together, alongside numerous municipalities and education institutions, we can secure a better future for generations to come.
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