Climate change impacts threaten birds, other wildlife, and people. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one solution to create safer, healthier communities, save taxpayer dollars, and protect Florida’s natural resources.
In the Tampa Bay region, Audubon partnered with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, Pinellas County UF/IFAS Extension, and the University of South Florida to develop baselines for greenhouse gas emissions in municipal operations. Representatives from ten cities/towns, as well as Pasco and Sarasota counties, were paired with students to gather data about the emissions produced by operations in their municipality’s buildings, fleets, waste services, and more.
By understanding their municipal operations, local governments create a critical framework for local resiliency decisions to reduce emissions and maximize efficiency while providing transparent accountability to their taxpayers. In addition, student fellows earned valuable experience in project management, resilience planning, and municipal operations while gaining class credit toward their graduation requirement. Now that these local governments know the emissions levels they’re starting from, the race to zero is on!
This story was published in the Summer issue of Audubon Naturalist.