Richmond, VA

This submission reflects this organization's contribution to the climate effort, representative of their current actions and commitments as well as the ways in which they intend to step up and collaborate with others.

Richmond, VA's Climate Action Contribution

About Richmond, VA's Climate Efforts

Mayor Levar Stoney’s commitment to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement is through RVAgreen 2050. RVAgreen 2050 is Richmond’s roadmap to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and prepare our community for the impacts of climate change while improving public health, equity, prosperity, resilience and our natural environment. RVAgreen 2050 is being developed using an equity lens to center racial, socio-economic, and health equity into the planning process in order to create solutions that address the needs of those who are most vulnerable to climate change or those experiencing disparate outcomes as a result of climate change.

Climate Action Commitments

Current Climate Actions Richmond, VA Is Taking:

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Sign the Chicago Climate Charter

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel held the North American Climate Summit in December 2017. Mayors gathered for the Summit were invited to make commitments to move forward with significant emissions reductions. Signing the Charter, you can pledge to move forward a comprehensive climate agenda and get support from your peers tackling similar challenges.

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Commit to 100% Renewable Electricity: Ready for 100

Ultimately, we must transition to communities powered by 100% clean, renewable energy. That transition should ensure benefit to low-income communities, a just transition for displaced workers in fossil fuel jobs, equitable access and affordability. If you are ready to set a 100% goal for your community, the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign can help build support for your vision. Join the nearly 70 US communities with 100% goals.

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Partner with other US cities/counties to advocate for national climate policies and take collective action: Climate Mayors

Climate Mayors, founded in 2014, is a bipartisan, peer-to-peer network of over 400 U.S. mayors working together to demonstrate leadership on climate through meaningful actions in their communities, and to express and build political will for effective federal and global policy action.

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Purchase renewable power or build on-site renewable electricity to run local government needs

Powering your own operations with renewable electricity or using local government buildings and land to site solar PV panels is within the decision-making authority of most localities and can be a model to your community.

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Increase energy efficiency of local government operations, such as buildings, street lighting, and water or wastewater plants

Energy efficiency is the best way to save taxpayer money and cut climate pollution right now. The average building wastes about a third of the energy it uses. Consider implementing a strategic energy management plan for all major operations.

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Increase rates of walking, cycling and public transit through means accessible to all residents

In many communities, the transportation sector is the largest share of their pollution and getting people to use alternative modes of transit to the personal vehicle comes with a myriad of benefits, not only cutting greenhouse gases.

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Give all residents in my community, especially those underrepresented or of marginalized groups, a voice in setting policy and action plans

Plans, strategies, and their implementation should include the input and priorities of the community. Having your residents’ support and involvement will lead to better long term solutions. Simply holding an open public hearing is not sufficient for the inclusion of all residents. Many methods exist for successful community engagement.

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Quantify, track and publicly report my climate action through CDP or carbonn Climate Registry

Disclosure of your climate targets, emissions profile, and actions on a transparent platform is important for accountability to your residents and is increasingly necessary to access tools and financial resources.

Climate Action Plan

New Climate Actions Richmond, VA Commits To Take:

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Work with energy utilities to increase renewable energy provided to residents and businesses

Going beyond the local government’s own operations to make renewable energy available to your community is a challenging, but critical step that means working with utilities, state government, and your residents. Clean, renewable bring with them better air, predictable, increasingly lower customer pricing, and local job deployment opportunities.

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Adopt policies to reduce carbon footprint of new and/or existing buildings

Building electricity, heating, and cooling at the community-scale is, with transportation, the other major source of carbon emissions. Strategies will vary between single-family homes, multi-family residential housing, and commercial buildings. Conducting energy audits and using benchmarking is an excellent tool to drive efficiency. Incentive programs for energy upgrades can be done effectively the more buildings that participate.

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Promote practices that reduce the carbon footprint of food procurement and consumption and prevent food waste

Food is often overlooked as a source of greenhouse gas pollution. What it takes to produce, how far is travels to get to consumers and what’s done with food that’s not eaten all lead to major carbon pollution. Producing more food locally, running programs with restaurants and institutions to reduce food waste, and cutting back on carbon intense foods such as meat and poultry are important steps.

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Use strategies building resilience to threats of climate change in zoning, capital improvement, comprehensive planning, and hazard mitigation documents

One of the most important things local governments can do when it comes to addressing climate change is to prepare for its effects--severe storms, drought, flooding, heat waves and more. Local government is already pledged to provide for the health and safety of their residents from these hazards. Climate change will make them worse and understanding and accounting for what’s to come in existing official documents is part of that responsibility.

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Richmond, VA
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