Climate Change


Phoenix shows community-wide climate progress with a 7.2% reduction in GHG Emissions 

The 2016 Community-Scale GHG Emission Inventory shows Phoenix-wide GHG emissions declined by 7.2% in GHG emissions compared to the 2012 levels.  As a result, Phoenix City Council approved a mid-term 2025 community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal of 30 percent below 2012 levels on January 9, 2018.  Phoenix has already established a long-term goal of being carbon neutral (or having zero net carbon emissions) by 2060 as part of its 2050 Sustainability Goals.  The following chart illustrates the 2012 to 2016 City of Phoenix Community-scale GHG Emissions by sector.



Phoenix meets its 2015 goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 15% below 2005 levels in municipal operations and targets a 40% reduction by 2025!

This new target reduction comes on the heels of the recently completed 2015 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Report that shows that Phoenix reduced its municipal Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) footprint by 15.6 % below 2005 levels meeting and surpassing its goal of 15%.  View the complete 2015 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Report or the Summary Report.

Background and History

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. 

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 Master Plan 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.