Austin passed the “Austin Climate Protection Plan” in February 2007. The plan features five main components. This includes a municipal plan that would work to make all city buildings, operations, and vehicles carbon-neutral by 2020.
To keep this plan on track Austin started a Climate Action Team, which first met on January 18, 2008. The team includes representatives from many different city departments. The team is in charge of developing a baseline carbon emissions inventory; to be able to make recommendations on how to reduce Austin’s carbon footprint.
The Austin Climate Protection Project will be helping Austin’s citizens to help Austin be green. They have a website with a carbon calculator, green tips, resources, a green events calendar, and much more.
Austin has many ways for its citizens to go green, with everything from farmers’ markets to public transportation. Austin even has Car Share to get more cars off the road.
Austin is not just offering you ways to go green it’s helping you go green. You can apply for an Energy Improvement loan, to make much needed upgrades to your home to be more energy efficient. Austin will even help you buy an electric vehicle with a rebate worth between $150 and $500.
Austin isn’t just asking its citizens to go green; they are going green as well. They run all of the General Fund departments on Green Choice renewable energy program. This puts the city at having 75% of its departments running on clean energy.
Austin’s actions are paying off and gaining a lot of attention. SustainLane.com named them the 13th greenest city in the US in 2008. They also ranked 5th in Energy & Climate Change Policy.
Austin may soon be more than just the “Live Music Capital of the World” they may also be the greenest city in the US.