On July 24, Detroit City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to greatly and swiftly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the city.
The ordinance stipulates reducing greenhouse gas emissions from city sources by 35 percent by 2024, 75 percent by 2043, and 100 percent by 2050. It will also work towards reducing citywide emissions by 30 percent by 2025.
The starting point for these levels was established in a 2012 greenhouse gas inventory study which found 1.18 million tons of carbon dioxide produced from municipal sources and 10.6 tons across the city.
The city will also conduct a greenhouse gas inventory assessment every four years, the first of which will be completed by August 1, 2020.
The recently created Office of Sustainability will largely be tasked with recommending strategies to meet these goals, which it’s already begun doing with the release of the Sustainability Action Agenda. The office will also undertake an annual progress report which it will submit to City Council.
The benchmarks set in the ordinance are based on the standards of the Paris Climate Agreement, which looks to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement in 2017.
Since then, hundreds of cities have stepped up to implement strategies to reduce emissions locally. A nationwide coalition of over 400 “Climate Mayors” (including Mayor Mike Duggan) have been sharing best practices and encouraging each other to realize their own climate goals. Over 100 cities have committed to 100 percent renewable energy from city sources by 2050.