News Brief

Phoenix Aiming for Carbon Neutrality

Mayor Phil Gordon is on a mission to make Phoenix, Arizona, the first carbon-neutral city in the U.S. In a State of the State address in March 2009, he laid out a 17-point plan to achieve this goal (see below). His plan includes energy conservation, renewable energy generation, mass transit, urban planning, agriculture incentives, and water conservation, among other measures. By pursuing carbon neutrality, Gordon hopes to bring renewable energy manufacturers to the city and provide more green jobs.

Mayor Gordon’s 17 Steps to a Carbon-Neutral Phoenix

1.Train workers to rehabilitate existing homes.

2.Require photovoltaics and solar-thermal systems for public buildings; offer incentives in the private sector.

3.Extend the light-rail system.

4.Subsidize home-energy retrofits.

5.Increase water-conservation and recycling efforts.

6.Retrofit public buildings to LEED standards.

7.Convert downtown brownfield sites to mixed-use development.

8.Rehabilitate the Discovery Triangle district downtown to make it more energy- and water-efficient.

9.Develop renewable energy sources beyond solar, including the use of biomass and the capture of waste heat and methane.

10.Convert outdoor city lights to high-efficiency fixtures.

11.Increase markets for local farmers.

12.Develop the canal system for recreation and transportation.

13.Green the school system, with students’ help.

14.Develop a regional desalination facility.

15. Develop joint protocols for transportation, information, and communications management.

16.Rework flood-management and water-delivery systems to reduce stormwater runoff and water demand.

17.Work with the public to develop a sustainability plan for the city.

Published April 29, 2009

Wendt, A. (2009, April 29). Phoenix Aiming for Carbon Neutrality. Retrieved from

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