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Program Design and Implementation to Reduce Arlington County Carbon Emissions and Improve Air and Water Quality

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On January 1, 2007, Arlington County initiated a new campaign titled the Arlington Initiative to Reduce Emission (AIRE) to reduce our contributions to global climate change and improve air and water quality. This multifaceted, collaborative campaign set out to: (1) reduce greenhouse gas emissions from County operations by 10% by 2012 from a 2000 base year, (2) recognize, assist, and encourage businesses to join the County in reducing emissions from their activities, (3) inform and encourage residents to reduce their own emissions by reducing energy use, (4) engage other localities and organizations in a broader effort, and (5) prepare a climate action plan for the Arlington community, with a goal of setting mid- and long-term targets for emissions reductions in the County as a whole. The 10% emissions reduction goal is the overarching end target, but this goal is supported by other specific goals for different sectors, such as increasing our wind power purchase to at least 5% of total County electricity use, reducing energy use in County facilities by 2% per year from now through 2012, and planting at least 1,200 new canopy trees per year. Wind power purchase have been doubled to 6% of total electrical energy use, we have a new capital revenue stream that ensures we will meet our energy reduction target. Over 2,000 new trees were planted in calendar 2007. Hired four new staff to boost implementation of AIRE objectives, including enhanced energy management and energy investments in our own facilities and operations, and coordinated outreach and programming to the public on climate topics such as energy efficiency, green buildings, transit services, enhanced recycling, and alternative fuel options. Milestones and accomplishments of the program through 2007 and beyond are presented and lessons learned reviewed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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