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Commissioners approve net-zero carbon emissions plan

Thursday, July 30, 2020 by Jessi Devenyns

On July 28, the Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a resolution for county operations to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and for the community to reach the same goal by 2050. “This is an action many local governments have already taken,” said Commissioner Brigid Shea, who sponsored the resolution. Indeed, the city of Austin has a goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In order to shave two decades off of Austin’s timeline, Shea suggested that county staff investigate hiring an outside consultant to guide the county in its greenhouse gas reduction efforts, which, she emphasized, is the only portion of the resolution with a fiscal impact. Prior to engaging the consultant, the commission tasked the Travis County Green Steering Committee with developing community-level emissions goals, milestones and strategies and returning this list to the Commissioners Court in April 2021. This resolution comes on the heels of the commissioners approving the county’s first climate action plan. Commissioner Jeff Travillion commended his colleagues on making combating climate change a priority, saying this is a significant step toward improving the county’s ecological footprint. “These things don’t happen organically,” he said.

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