Ann Arbor City Council unanimously adopts carbon neutrality plan

The city of Ann Arbor has installed solar on several city properties. (Pixabay)

ANN ARBOR – During its June 1 meeting, Ann Arbor City Council unanimously adopted the A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan aimed at helping the entire community achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

The plan stems from a climate emergency declaration by City Council on Nov. 4, 2019 that asked staff to craft a comprehensive carbon neutrality plan to be achieved in partnership with the community.

“The fight against climate change is the defining challenge of our time. It necessitates bold, ambitious and immediate action," Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor said in a statement.

“Over the last several months, our amazing staff came together with community members, organizations and experts to craft the A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan. With today’s vote, Ann Arbor has committed to do its part, to do the hard, transformative work to meet our carbon neutrality goals."

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The plan includes 44 actions and seven main strategies to reduce climate pollution. Social equity is a core principle of the plan to ensure that even those in the most vulnerable populations can be included in the city’s goal.

“The A2Zero Plan establishes a roadmap for where the community is headed. The actions outlined in the plan are not set in stone, but are living, allowing us to adjust as new technologies or opportunities emerge," Ann Arbor City Council Member Kathy Griswold said in a statement. “Achieving carbon neutrality will necessitate that we all work together, and I believe our community is ready for this challenge."

The city of Ann Arbor has been working on climate improvement for decades, including prioritizing electric vehicles in the city’s fleet, installing solar panels on city properties, helping residents purchase solar at a discount via a new solar bulk buy program, exploring the installation of a 24-megawatt solar panel at Ann Arbor’s closed landfill and working closely with the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to ensure affordable housing sites within reach of net zero energy.

“Today is a day to celebrate the hard work of our community, staff and partners. A2Zero will help ensure Ann Arbor remains a world class city and a leader in climate action and environmental stewardship," Missy Stults, the city’s sustainability and innovations manager said in a statement.

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About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.