Greenhouse gases trap heat and contribute to climate change. The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation.
In the City of Lawrence, we have worked steadily to document and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within city operations and from the broader Lawrence community:
- In 2006, Mayor Boog Highberger signed the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.
- In 2008, Mayor Mike Dever appointed a Climate Protection Task Force which presented the first greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and recommended steps to reduce our GHG emissions.
- In 2012, the City updated our GHG emissions inventory, and set new goals for reducing our climate change impacts.
- In 2017, Mayor Leslie Soden signed onto a statement with hundreds of mayors expressing support for the Paris climate agreement, which aims to strengthen local, regional, and global approach to combating climate change.
- In 2018, Mayor Stuart Boley joined over 200 mayors from across the United States to express his support for the Clean Power Plan – an essential public health protection and climate change solution that sets the first ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants and helps cities transition to a clean energy economy.
- An update of GHG emissions inventory is underway and will be published in spring 2019.
Recommended Actions for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Incorporate the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions into land use planning.
- Develop transportation policies and programs to consume less energy and reduce emissions.
- Strengthen energy conservation policies and building standards.
- Develop water conservation policies and programs to consume less water, reducing energy usage and infrastructure costs.
- Expand source reduction and waste reduction programs and initiatives.
- Exercise leadership by prioritizing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in municipal operations.
- Provide dedicated staffing and adequate funding to support climate protection and sustainability initiatives.
- Establish outreach and education programs on emission reduction issues.