RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond has a new office to oversee and push forward the city’s long-term plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.
The Office of Sustainability will begin serving as Richmond’s “designated point of public accountability” for progress on its initiatives to address climate change when it is formally established on July 1, a Thursday news release from the city said.
In April, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney introduced the city’s draft Climate Equity Action Plan 2030 for residents to weigh in on by June 19.
“This draft plan is the city’s first roadmap to addressing the impacts of climate change, spearheaded by our Office of Sustainability,” Stoney said at the April 19 press conference.
Last year, the Richmond City Council introduced and adopted a resolution declaring “the existence of a climate and ecological emergency that threatens the city of Richmond, the surrounding region, the Commonwealth of Virginia, civilization, humanity, and the natural world.”
The climate equity plan is one of the first steps in the city’s RVAgreen 2050 initiative, which sets goals for Richmond to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and having net-zero emissions by 2050.
The plan calls for the transition to “climate neutral buildings and energy sources,” clean and equitable mobility systems, sustainable waste reduction methods and more.
Richmond’s Office of Sustainability will be housed within and work across the city’s Planning and Economic Development portfolio, allowing staff to integrate RVAgreen 500 with other plans such as Richmond300, Richmond Connects and RVA H20.