Approved: City Adopts Plan to Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2050
Published on November 18, 2021
The Miami City Commission today voted unanimously to grant final approval the City’s new comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction plan, Miami Forever Carbon Neutral, officially putting the Magic City on a course to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Today’s approval comes less than two years after Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced a carbon neutrality goal of reaching net zero citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Since then, City staff and leaders have worked diligently on creating the greenhouse gas reduction strategy to achieve that goal.
“I’m thrilled that the City Commission has approved our ambitious plan to cut out greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century,” said Mayor Suarez. “The clock is ticking and Miami now has a roadmap to guide us forward toward a generational goal that will help preserve Miami forever, for everyone. It’s time to get to work.”
The new Miami Forever Carbon Neutral plan gives the City a robust, science-driven and implementable action plan to reduce the City’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, the root cause of climate change and sea level rise. It includes an interim goal – cutting citywide GHG emissions by 60% from 2018 levels by 2035 – to drive near-term progress needed to ensure that the ultimate net zero goal can be attained by 2050. To reach this interim goal, the City plans to go GREEN and implement policies and programs that address:
- G – Getting around Miami
- R – Renewable Energy
- E – Electric Vehicles
- E – Energy Efficiency
- N – New Green Economy
A key component of Miami Forever Carbon Neutral is its focus on ensuring that implementation of the plan not only results in net zero carbon emissions, but also results in a stronger local economy and enhanced climate justice for residents. The Green Economy portion of the plan demonstrates how carbon reduction strategies and climate adaptation actions can generate living wage job opportunities for Miami residents and business opportunities for local Miami businesses.
“I’m proud of the work that the City’s resilience professionals and staff from all disciplines have done over the past 22 months to get us to this point,” said Miami City Manager Art Noriega. “This is a comprehensive and viable plan that is rooted in science and – importantly – reflects the input of our residents and local stakeholders.”
The City of Miami will conduct a greenhouse gas inventory every two years to track progress on the City’s overall greenhouse gas emissions reductions. These inventory reports will also include updates on goal-level metrics as well as action-level metrics for prioritized actions such as electrifying the City vehicle fleet, implementing the updated Bike Master Plan, and requiring new buildings to be solar and storage ready.
Last year, Miami released the city’s first climate resilience plan, Miami Forever Climate Ready, and joined the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of mayors collaborating to take urgent action on the climate crisis. C40 membership requires and supports cities to develop and implement comprehensive plans aimed at both reducing communitywide GHG emissions and preparing the city for the impacts of climate change. AECOM, the city’s technical consultant supporting Miami Forever Carbon Neutral, used C40 tools and Climate Action Planning Framework to support the City’s development of Miami Forever Carbon Neutral.
“Congratulations to Mayor Suarez, the Miami City Commission, and City staff and stakeholders on this first milestone in the critical, continuing work necessary to reduce GHG emissions as much as possible by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050,” said Laura Jay, C40 Regional Director for North America, “With adoption of this plan, Miami joins leading C40 cities around the world in taking action aligned with what science requires in order for the world to address the scale and urgency of climate change while supporting local initiatives that grow the economy, create jobs, and advance climate justice for the people of Miami.”
Miami Forever Carbon Neutral’s goal of net zero carbon emissions puts the City in alignment with the globally accepted Paris Climate Agreement. That groundbreaking compact aims to “keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” and “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”, which will significantly reduce the severity of climate change impacts and ensure a better quality of life for future generations.