On September 6, 2006 the Tucson Mayor and Council adopted the Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement(MCPA), becoming one of more than 900 cities that have signed on. To date, nine other Arizona cities have joined Tucson in signing the MCPA. The MCPA was created in response to the U.S. government’s failure to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement to address climate disruption by setting a goal of reducing global warming pollution levels to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012. Mayors from around the nation signed the U.S. MCPA urging the federal and state governments to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the Kyoto reduction target, and effectively adopting the Kyoto emissions goal.
The signatory cities of the MCPA agree to take action in their own operations and communities towards meeting or exceeding Kyoto Protocol targets for reducing global warming pollution, including efforts to:
• Inventory global warming emissions, set reduction targets and create an action plan.
• Reduce sprawl, preserve open space, and create compact, walkable urban communities.
• Promote transportation options to single-occupant car use.
• Increase the use of clean, alternative energy.
• Improve municipal energy efficiency.
• Purchase only Energy Star equipment and appliances for City use.
• Practice and promote sustainable building practices, such as through the LEED program.
• Reduce fossil fuel consumption by the municipal fleet.
• Increase pump efficiency in water systems.
• Increase recycling rates.
• Maintain urban green space and promote tree planting to increase shading and to absorb CO2.
• Educate others about reducing global warming pollution.
The City, in conjunction with Pima County and the Pima Association of Governments, completed an updated Regional Greenhouse Gas Inventory for both City of Tucson internal operations and the community at large in October 2008. The inventory was the first conducted in the region since 1998 and provides the baseline data from which the City and other regional governments can build their respective Climate Action Plans.
Climate Change Citizens Advisory Committee
In 2008, Tucson’s Mayor and Council formally established a Framework for Advancing Sustainability, a document that identifies for the first time the vision and guidance necessary for developing a comprehensive sustainability program for the City of Tucson. An important component of the Framework is the creation of a Climate Change Advisory Committee. The Committee serves several important functions. First, it brings with it broad, high-level skill sets, expertise and vision necessary to address the multiple dimensions of climate change in a strategic manner on behalf of the City. The Committee also represents key stakeholder groups that will contribute to the broad climate change and sustainability work that needs to be undertaken over the long term. Among the Committee’s principal functions is to develop a Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan (MAP) that includes recommendations to achieve the City’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments under the MCPA along with strategies and action steps needed to prepare for both the direct and indirect effects of climate change on the City’s infrastructure and operations, as well as its ecological, economic, and social capital. Thirteen areas of expertise and stakeholder groups are represented on the Climate Change Committee: climate change science, sustainable land use/transportation, architecture and sustainable design, community grass roots efforts, urban green space/urban heat island mitigation, low-income representation, local economy, workforce advocacy/training, social services, small/local business, neighborhood advocacy/support, human health, and food security.