Climate Change

Sustainability Climate IconCity adopts goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from city operations to 15 percent by 2015.*

Phoenix is one of the first cities in the state to develop a Climate Action Plan, which defines how the city will reduce emissions from city operations. The greenhouse gas reduction measures in the plan also expand the city’s use of solar and other renewable energy, reduce energy use, support alternative fuels and help achieve a more a sustainable future.

The 2009 Climate Action Plan defined how the city would achieve a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from city operations to 5 percent below the 2005 levels by 2015.    In 2012, three years ahead of schedule, the city achieved its goal with a 7.2 percent decrease from 2005 GHG emissions.   These findings were revealed in the 2012 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Report.  The most significant GHG reduction programs included:

  • advanced methane capture systems at city-owned landfills;
  • biodiesel and ethanol alternative fuels;
  • energy-efficient streetlights, traffic signals, water and wastewater upgrades;
  • energy efficiency measures in more than 45 city buildings; and
  • various city solar power projects.

In January 2014, City Council adopted a new goal to reduce GHG by 15 percent by 2015 compared to 2005 emission levels for City operations.  In additional, City Council approved that the city coordinate regional stakeholders to develop a regional GHG Emissions Inventory to include not only City operations, but also residential, commercial and industrial sources.  View the Jan. 7, 2014 City Council Report. 

*The 2015 GHG emissions inventory update is currently under development.

City of Phoenix Cool Urban Spaces Report Available

The July 2014 City of Phoenix Cool Urban Spaces Report reveals the results of the impact of the Phoenix Cool Roofs and Tree and Shade Master Plan initiatives on the city.  The study evaluated how these heat mitigation efforts affect the urban heat island in the Phoenix metropolitan area. 

The study's findings for the Tree and Shade Initiative indicate that increasing tree canopy cover from 10 percent to 25 percent leads to an additional temperature reduction of 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a total cooling benefit of 7.9 degrees Fahrenheit as compared to a bare neighborhood.

For the Cool Roofs initiative, the study found that the effect of cool roofs alone on local daytime temperatures is relatively low.  Air temperature reduction only amounts to 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the neighborhood. 

The report was prepared by the Julie A. Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability's Center for Integrated Solutions to Climate Challenges in collaboration with Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) at University of Arizona. This project was part of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's SARP grant and is part of the collaboration with the Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) at Arizona State University.

More Information About Climate Change