Climate Change in Austin

On February 2, 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on global warming released a report confirming that it is very likely caused by human activity. They called for quick action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. The scientists who wrote the report said that to avoid the worst impacts of this, the average global temperature must not rise more than 3.5°F above pre-industrial levels. Not waiting for federal action, a handful of local municipalities took notice and began to create local action plans. Austin’s Mayor at the time, Will Wynn, was on the forefront of this local climate leadership. He sponsored a Protection Resolution that was unanimously adopted by the Austin City Council on February 15, 2007. This resolution directed City management to create plans and programs to “make Austin the leading city in the nation in the effort to reduce the negative impacts of global warming.”

Scientific Consensus
Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.

Click here for a partial list of these public statements and related resources.

Locally in Austin
Austin’s status as a leading city has been proven time and time again with inclusion at the top of many “Best Of” lists. But today marks a special milestone for Austin’s leadership status — 10 years of progress in the fight against climate change.

Click the button below to read Ten Years of Climate Leadership by Austin’s Chief Sustainability Officer Lucia Athens.