On Sept. 2, 2008, Roanoke City Council adopted greenhouse gas reduction targets for the city and community as a foundation for protecting our environment. Council committed by resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from municipal operations by a total of 12.5 percent over a five-year period between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2014. Council also established a goal to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent over a five-year period during the same time frame. With these emission reduction targets in mind, City staff was charged with developing a Climate Action Plan for the Roanoke community and implementing the programs, initiatives and best practices to the extent practical and achievable within available funding and resources.
Developing a comprehensive planning document, which outlines a series of environmental goals, targets and prioritized strategies for community sustainability, represents an all-inclusive approach to enhancing the quality of life for our citizens. Accomplishing this goal for the city and region implies establishing a continuing evaluation of economic, social, environmental, and quality-of-life indicators — an ongoing assessment of conditions and progress toward the city’s collective efforts to decrease its carbon footprint. This Climate Action Plan builds on the strategies already developed and implemented in the city’s Vision 2001-2020 Comprehensive Plan to improve Roanoke’s preparedness and resilience.The goals and strategies addressed in the city’s Climate Action Plan have been brought forward as part of the planning process that will guide investment and decision-making over the next 10 to 20 years.
Through the development of this Climate Action Plan, Roanoke is on the right path to reducing its carbon footprint. However, the city is ever-mindful that the key is not reducing emissions in “Roanoke, the Municipality”, but rather reducing emissions in “Roanoke, the Community.” Of course, this will not happen all at once. Instead, with the use of a developed Climate Action Plan template, the city will work with the community to promote timely and consistent action, programs, and policies that will result in reduced annual emissions.