City-wide carbon neutrality by 2030
Ann Arbor’s goal is to achieve city-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. To achieve this, the entire community must eliminate 2.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions annually – this is the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions they emitted, as an entire community, in 2018. Although the City recognizes the importance of upstream and embedded emissions, this figure does not include emissions associated with the production of the goods and services Ann Arborites use. Vital to reaching this goal is the centering of traditionally under-served populations, i.e. the city cannot obtain these goals unless they are obtained for all residents.
Other sustainability challenges
Other challenges include greening a grid that is still 91% fossil fuel based, switching to electric heating and cooling equipment in cold climates, electrifying single occupancy vehicles and moving towards public and non-motorized transit, and consuming less in a capitalist economy. This all must be accomplished within a changing climate that will require adaptation as well as mitigation. Specifically, Ann Arbor will face rising temperatures, increased number of hot days, more precipitation, and more extreme precipitation events.
Ann Arbor is a leader in climate action commitments, and is currently implementing its A2ZERO Plan, a bold, ambitious, and comprehensive roadmap to reach a just transition to community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030 aligned with science-based targets. Strategies outlined in the plan include securing 100% renewable energy, transitioning from fossil fuels to clean electric alternative technologies, improving the energy efficiency of our buildings, responsibly consuming and using materials, and improving the resilience of our community to climate change.
Through the plan, Ann Arbor has increased local solar installations fourfold, planted thousands of trees on private property, and invested in comprehensive energy efficiency and electrification retrofits in an underserved neighborhood. Specific targets include:
- Move toward a circular economy
- 100% clean and renewable energy, community-wide
- Fully electrifying 30% of homes
- Fully electrifying 100% of municipal operations
- 80% of homes reach a 20% improvement in energy efficiency
- A resilience hub in every ward
- Planting of 10,000 trees on private property, in addition to plantings on City property