City of Tucson makes strides to becoming carbon neutral by 2030

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 5:44 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson is one big step closer to becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030.

City of Tucson leaders have chosen a nationally-recognized consulting firm to develop the city’s first ever climate action and adaptation plan.

Mayor Regina Romero says time is of the essence when it comes to climate change in Tucson. She says the most important time to act is now.

“All the steps that we’re taking now, will make a huge difference to the livability and the water resources that we need to continue being a sustainable city,” she said.

The next step is creating a climate action and adaptation plan. The plan itself will be developed by the consulting firm, Buro Happold, which has done climate action work in major cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.

“That will give us a roadmap to act on the infrastructure we need to change, the steps that we need to change to have the action that we want for the results that we’re looking for,” Romero said.

Along with creating the climate action plan, the firm will also partner with local non-profits to do community engagement. The plan will be completed by December, which will propel the city to the ultimate goal of being carbon neutral in eight years.

“Setting a target date of 2030 for carbon neutrality, that is very aggressive, very progressive and something we are very, very interested in working with the city and all Tucsonans to make it happen,” Buro Happold’s Associate Principal, Christopher Rhie said.

Rhie has worked with many different cities. He says each city is different when it comes to the type of climate risk they face. For Tucson, it’s heat and water supply.

The plan will focus on large scale transformation in these areas by working to limit greenhouse gasses and finding ways to adapt to climate change that’s happening in Tucson.

“In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change globally, we have to act now and we have to do it very, very quickly. That means we have to reconsider our relationship with fossil fuels, which are the primary source of emissions,” he said.

Rhie says there is a lot individuals can do to help with climate change every day.

Some ways you can help limit carbon emissions include carpooling, riding a bike, using public transportation, using solar power, and using energy-saving lightbulbs.

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