Determine a Pathway
To achieve your overall scheduled reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, how quickly will each sector need to respond? How quickly will electricity need to "go green?" How quickly will cars need to have improved mileage, and how quickly will electric vehicles need to replace cars? How soon will building heat need to become electrified?
These kinds of questions help us formulate our pathway for lowering our emissions.
The 2019 Anchorage Climate Action Plan settled on the following two goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions:
- 40% reduction by 2030, and
- 80% reduction by 2050.
From there, we reviewed different reductions schedules that would achieve those goals. Based on estimates of how quickly old cars are removed from the road, how quickly old buildings are torn down, and how quickly Anchorage's population is increasing, we computed how rapidly each of those sectors must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in order for our overall goals to be achieved.
Now determine specific mechanisms by which you can ensure each of these sectors will stay on track for its goal. Will you establish a Renewable Portfolio Standard, or a Carbon Tax, perhaps returning a dividend to the public to offset the additional expense? Will you establish a Building Energy Code? Will you establish On-Bill Financing, or a Green Bank for low interest loans?
Anchorage's Climate Action Plan lists over 130 options like these. We recommend that other communities write their Climate Action Plans in such a way that adoption of the plan establishes key mechanisms into city ordinances. Anchorage did not do this, so implementation remains an uphill effort.