Houston Matters

Houston’s Contributions to Combat Climate Change

The Bayou City has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The United Nations has just released a report on global warming and a local expert told Houston Matters Wednesday the Bayou City has become of the American metropolises leading the way with initiatives to better protect the environment.

Gavin Dillingham is program director of Clean Energy Policy at Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and said what the report presents isn’t surprising but “hopefully it’s a wake-up call to a lot of people that may not have been paying as much attention to it or that still need maybe more information or data.”

Dillingham noted that, a few years ago, the City of Houston “first looked at its internal operations and really tried to focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions there through just improving operations in buildings and fleet to waste management, etcetera.”

“Now the City is looking to do that on a community wide basis through its Climate Action Plan,” the expert added.

Dillingham also highlighted that one of the main goals of Houston’s Climate Action Plan is to meet the city’s greenhouse gas reduction goals as initially established in the Paris climate agreement, from which the Trump administration withdrew last year.

For Dillingham, there are several American cities that are working towards meeting those goals and “the City of Houston has really taken a good leadership role” by trying to combine cost-effective measures that will better protect the environment but that will also promote the city’s economic vitality.

The expert also underscored the fact the City of Houston has recently joined the 100 Resilient Cities Network, a $164 million global effort to build urban resilience around the world.

At a regional level, the HARC expert explained his organization is working on helping a group of nine counties near the Texas Gulf Coast to prioritize efforts to combat climate change.

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