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File #: 20-0511    Version: Name: 4/20/20 Resolution Adopting the Living A2Zero Ann Arbor Carbon Neutrality Plan Resolution Adopting the Living A2Zero Ann Arbor Carbon Neutrality Plan Resolution Adopting the LIving A2Zero Ann Arbor Carbon Neutrality Plan
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 4/20/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: 4/20/2020 Final action: 4/20/2020
Enactment date: 4/20/2020 Enactment #: R-20-138
Title: Resolution Adopting the Living A2Zero Ann Arbor Carbon Neutrality Plan
Attachments: 1. A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Strategy V2.pdf


Resolution Adopting the Living A2Zero Ann Arbor Carbon Neutrality Plan


On November 4th, 2019, Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency and set the goal of becoming carbon neutral, as an entire community, by the year 2030. In that same resolution, Council directed staff to create a living plan for how to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, and present that draft plan to City Council no later than March 31st, 2020.


Heeding that direction, staff undertook an intensive 4-month public engagement process that included more than 60 public events, 3 public surveys, 2 large town halls, the recruitment and engagement of over 60 partner organizations, support from over 80 technical advisors, the hiring of a communications firm, and the engagement of technical consultants to supplement staff in the quantification of the cost and greenhouse gas reduction potential of climate-related actions. In total, this initiative led to the creation of the living A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan.


The Plan includes 7 overarching strategies and 44 sub-actions. The 7 overarching strategies are:

1.                     Powering our electrical grid with 100% renewable energy.

2.                     Switching our appliances and vehicles from gasoline, diesel, propane, and natural gas to electric.

3.                     Significantly improving the energy efficiency in our homes, businesses, schools, places of worship, recreational sites, and government facilities.

4.                     Reducing the miles we travel in our vehicles by at least 50%.

5.                     Changing the way we use, reuse, and dispose of materials.

6.                     Enhancing the resilience of our people and our place.

7.                     Other - which are mostly foundational initiatives that support the work above as well as the purchasing of carbon offsets to close any remaining gap between emissions reductions locally and emissions produced locally.


The A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan was always envisioned as being a living plan, one that will change and evolve over time. As such, the actions included in this plan are those that can be initiated immediately to continue on our path towards carbon neutrality. Within the Plan are assumptions that outline what would need to be done to achieve any identified greenhouse gas reduction potential. These assumptions also provide insights into the cost estimates associated with the actions outlined in the Plan. Co-benefits were also identified since many of the values of the actions cannot be quantified using a traditional cost-benefit or dollars and cents analysis. For example, the value of equity, or local job creation is not something that a numeric value can easily be assigned to. However, we know these two co-benefits are important to the local community and, as such, identified actions that aligned with these values (as well as other community values). This provides a more holistic sense of the values of proposed actions.


Additionally, to the extent possible, calculations were done that showed what the impact of a given measure would be if the University of Michigan full participated as well as if they did not. This provides important context as the University of Michigan represents nearly 1/3 of the community’s greenhouse gas emissions footprint. As such, working in parallel with the University to implement solutions has numerous co-benefits, including achieving our goals, achieving economies of scale which may lower prices, leveraging research to help identify and scale solutions, and sharing labor to implement given solutions.


Finally, the Plan was designed to be living. This means that the Plan, and the individual actions, will be revisited regularly to gauge their overall success. More specifically, it is highly likely that these actions will continually be revised, enhanced, revisited, or removed from consideration, based on new technologies, new funding opportunities, changes in political or social contexts, or other variables. The Plan was designed to be flexible to these changes, making it a living plan that serves as a directional roadmap for Ann Arbor’s carbon neutrality work.


Budget/Fiscal Impact: The A2Zero Carbon Neutrality plan, as proposed, would cost an additional $1,056,000,000 over the next ten years. The staff are working on a financing strategy for the plan that will very likely include federal and state resources, philanthropic dollars, innovative financing tools such as green bonds, public-private partnerships, and others. For FY2021, $206,331 is requested from the General Fund and 3 full-time equivalent employees are requested from the County millage. These investments will provide the resources needed to continue implementing the strategies, to scale-up new actions, and to free-up existing staff time to immediately and earnestly pursue external funding opportunities. The specific additions to the Office of Sustainability funding request include:

                     $50,000 for renewable energy and efficiency work at city facilities

                     $47,500 for Lead for America Policy Fellow to undertake policy worked related to A2Zero

                     $30,000 for part-time office manager - freeing up Manager’s time to fundraise

                     $7,331 IT funds for Lead for America fellow’s infrastructure

                     $50,000 for contractor to jump start solarize and energy efficiency bulk buys

                     $30,000 for general fund portion of internal carbon tax

                     $1,500 in city vehicle fees

                     -$10,000 in dues and licenses

                     3 new FTEs


Prepared by:  Missy Stults, Sustainability and Innovations Manager

Approved by:  Tom Crawford, Interim City Administrator


Whereas, The City of Ann Arbor has demonstrated a history of leadership in promoting energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy use, including developing its first Energy Plan in 1981 and establishing a City Energy Commission;


Whereas, Despite the City’s goals and progress to-date, the global climate is changing at a rate that necessitates bolder action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including getting to net zero emissions as soon as possible;


Whereas, Over 19,000 scientists have signed a Second Warning to Humanity proclaiming that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided”,


Whereas, On  November 4, 2019, Ann Arbor City Council unanimously declared a climate emergency and set a goal of becoming carbon neutral, as an entire community, by the year 2030;


Whereas, The Office of Sustainability and Innovations heeded this charge and created the A2Zero initiative to organize the planning and implementation work related to the City’s carbon neutrality goals;


Whereas, Public engagement was integral to the A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Planning work, with over 60 public events held over 4-months, most with individuals not traditionally engaged in City planning processes;


Whereas, Over 80 individuals joined four technical advisory committees to help identify what was technically needed to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2030;


Whereas, Three public surveys were administered which, in addition to the more than 60 public events, provided insights into what was socially possible in regards to achieving carbon neutrality locally;


Whereas, Over 60 partner organization supported the A2Zero planning process and have agreed to be partners in supporting implementation of various actions identified in the A2Zero plan;


Whereas, The A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan was designed to be a living plan that can be changed as things such as technology shift;


Whereas, Staff in the City worked to identify solutions that had a multitude of co-benefits that aligned with existing community values;


Whereas, The societal and economic costs of not acting to mitigate and adapt to climate change far exceed timely investments in emission reduction measures; and


Whereas, As with all projects requiring significant city investment, relevant components of the Plan would come before City Council for ultimate authorization;


RESOLVED, That Ann Arbor City Council receives the A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan and expresses its appreciation to City Staff for their efforts in providing a comprehensive, timely response to Council’s November 4, 2019 Resolution;


RESOLVED, That City Council requests the City Administrator develop a funding plan by source and year and develop a framework or mechanism for Council to utilize in evaluating and prioritizing high-leverage actions; and


RESOLVED, that City Council requests the City Administrator present the A2Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan to City Council for further consideration when the funding plan and prioritization framework have been developed; and


RESOLVED, Ann Arbor City Council requests that the City Administrator begin or continue work to implement the actions outlined in the Plan and provide at least quarterly updates to City Council on progress.


As Amended by Ann Arbor City Council on April 20, 2020