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City Conducts First Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Over a Decade to Inform Climate Efforts

Study of past 10 years finds on-road transportation, commercial buildings lead contributors of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere

Albuquerque has emerged as a national leader in climate change mitigation and sustainability efforts under the Keller administration. As the City looks to the next several years of climate strategy, tracking greenhouse gas emissions data will be key to setting priorities and tracking progress. This week, the City is releasing its first greenhouse gas (“GHG”) inventory in more than ten years to set a baseline understanding of where GHG emissions (GHGe) come from and the amount produced.

 

The report provides a snapshot of Albuquerque’s trends over the last 10 years between 2008 and 2017 and covers stationary sources (buildings), transportation and waste. Data was prepared following the Global Protocol for Community Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories using the City Inventory Reporting and Information System tool.

 

“To pass down our values and way of life to the next generation, we have to act on climate change today,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. “From food insecurity to clean water, breathing-related allergies and energy crises, climate change will bring major disruptions to Albuquerque’s quality of life. This report shows where the majority of emissions are coming from, so we can aim our climate strategies at the right targets.”

 

In 2017, the City of Albuquerque produced 5,809,351 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, which resulted in an average of 10.37 metric tons of CO2 produced by each Albuquerque resident for that year. Major contributors to the City’s GHG emissions include on-road transportation (33%), commercial and institutional buildings (26%), and residential buildings (25%). Between 2008 and 2017, Albuquerque’s GHGe did not change significantly.

 

Greenhouse gas emissions and climate change have dramatic impacts on everyone. With even the modest increase of 1°C seen over 2019, there has been a large increase in wildfires leading to respiratory health effects. Experts are concerned that continued temperature increases will result in reduced snowpack – creating strains on surface water availability, as well as a rise in summer temperatures and haze from ground-level ozone for Albuquerque.

 

The findings of this inventory will inform future climate change mitigation efforts within the City of Albuquerque. Action by many stakeholders at all levels of impact will be necessary to create a downward trajectory in the city’s total emissions.

 

This report marks one of the central steps in a citywide effort to take quick action to lessen Albuquerque’s contribution to climate change and prepare for future impacts. Now with a clear view of Albuquerque’s emissions landscape, city leaders and residents can strategically prioritize and implement actions to safeguard environmental and human health.

 

The report builds on the Keller administration’s substantial work to date on sustainability, including:

  • Won a $2.7 million federal grant to bring the first electric buses to Albuquerque,
  • Signed the Paris Agreement committing to climate action,
  • Installed solar projects at 38 city-owned buildings,
  • Received funding to increase electric charging stations in Albuquerque to 40 by 2021,
  • Launched the Green Team Initiative to expand sustainability across departments,
  • Launched the Mayor’s Energy Challenge,
  • Won Bloomberg American Cities climate challenge with funding for sustainability efforts,
  • Made the transition to more sustainable LED street lights citywide,
  • Provided over 100 homes with free energy audits and upgrades in partnership with PNM and Prosperity Works,
  • Invested $600,000 in VW settlement funding to expand electric vehicle infrastructure,
  • Partnered with PNM to launch the Solar Direct project to get to a 65% renewable energy portfolio by 2021,
  • Purchased the first Electric Vehicles for the City fleet, and committed the City to replacing gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles wherever possible,
  • Achieved LEED for Cities Silver certification, and
  • Ranked 40th on the 2020 City Clean Energy Scorecard—and 5th most improved—by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

 

For the full GHG report visit: https://www.cabq.gov/sustainability/documents/city-of-albuquerque-ghg-inventory-3.pdf