The Phoenix City Council this week unanimously approved an ambitious new goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40 percent within its own operations by 2025.

The City Council took action after hearing an update on the city’s progress towards its long term goal of becoming a carbon-neutral city.  

“Phoenix has authored one of the best sustainability turnaround stories in the nation, but we can’t rest on our laurels,” said Mayor Greg Stanton.  “If we hope to reverse the effects of climate change it’s up to cities to lead the way.  This is an ambitious goal, but every time we’ve set a high bar for ourselves on sustainability Phoenix has risen to the challenge to meet it.”

“The council’s vote this week shows we’re charging ahead and beyond our already impressive results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the past ten years,” said Vice Mayor Kate Gallego, chair of the City Council’s Sustainability, Housing, Efficiency and Neighborhoods Subcommittee.  “It also reaffirms Phoenix’s role as a home for green business and sustainable innovation.”

The presentation highlighted how the city of Phoenix surpassed its previous goal of a 15% GHG reduction by 2015 and now is ready to set a new goal for 2025.

The city’s Office of Sustainability reported accomplishments and positive progress on several city recent sustainability initiatives:

• Approved replacement of all 90,000 streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights.

• Increased light rail and bus service as part of the city’s voter-approved 35-year transportation plan.

• Marked two-year anniversary of Grid Bike Share, which now has 12,000 registered riders who have traveled 140,000 miles– the equivalent of five and half times around the globe.

• Reported Phoenix residents using 34 percent less water per capita than they did in 1996, and with the city reclaiming 84 percent of all wastewater for beneficial reuse.

• Stepped up participation in the circular economy by working with entrepreneurs to convert solid waste items destined for landfills into new products. A private company will convert 34,000 tons of palm fronts into livestock feed in 2017.

• Began construction on the city’s first compost facility to divert organic materials from landfills.

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