(November 11, 2020)
The city of Houston released a climate action plan with a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. But the question of how to get there is proving to be divisive. Many hope this energy transition will ensure Houston remains the energy capital well into the future.
This plan appealed to the city’s 4,600 energy companies to lead the transition to carbon neutrality. It also explained that about 49 percent of carbon emissions in Houston comes from powering homes and businesses. Around 47 percent relate to transportation, while waste disposal accounts for 4 percent of the total.
To reduce emissions, the city proposed a new building code to encourage using renewables, mass transit, and a new waste collection system.
Additionally, it proposed measures to increase electric vehicles, such as installing charging stations. The plan is a strategy document rather than a city ordinance, meaning none of its proposals are legally binding.
“No other city is better suited to tackle climate change than Houston,” wrote Mayor Sylvester Turner in the introduction to the climate plan. “And Houstonians already understand the consequences to our lives and our economy if we do nothing — larger, slower hurricanes, stronger rain events, longer, hotter summers and the safety, health and property impacts that come with them.”