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  • Pima County renews its commitment to address climate change

    May 04, 2022 | Read More News
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    Pima County will begin taking bolder steps to address the looming threat of climate change. 
    The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 on May 3 to adopt a resolution authorizing the County to establish a Climate Action Plan for County Operations (CAPCO). The plan aims to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent below its 2005 levels by 2030 and align the County’s efforts with the goals of the United States’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in support of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

    desert landscape
    Pima County has led by example in its commitment to sustainability. In 2007, the County adopted the Sustainable Action Plan for County Operations (SAPCO), which was the first plan of its kind in Arizona to establish goals and measurable targets to “green” internal operations and facilities.
    The latest SAPCO report showed the County has made progress in offsetting carbon emissions, such as planting more trees, installing green infrastructure and using electric vehicles, but stalled in other areas, such as water use reduction.
    “We’re not doing that badly overall, but we aren’t moving quickly enough,” said Linda Mayro, Director of the Pima County Office of Sustainability and Conservation
    The CAPCO plan established by this resolution will supersede the County’s current one and refocus the County’s sustainability efforts to climate-action best practices focused on carbon, water, landscapes, materials and workforce education. 
    Some of the plan recommendations include launching employee green teams, creating a sustainability dashboard to showcase cross-departmental efforts, and making the County’s online, self-paced sustainability workshop—THRIVE—available to the public. 
    Additionally, to report emissions more accurately, the plan will align to the Local Governments Operations Protocol, a methodology developed by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives – Local Governments for Sustainability to ensure consistent and accurate emissions tracking. 
    Some changes using this methodology will include reporting wastewater facility treatment emissions separately from Pima County owned and occupied buildings and counting employee commuter miles in annual emissions reports.
    For more information about the Office of Sustainability and Conservation’s recommendations for the new plan, please see this April 18 memorandum from Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher.