In fiscal year 2019-20, the most recent year for which data is available, the city emitted the equivalent of roughly 18,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Its target for the year was approximately 15,600 metric tons of CO2, about 15% less than the actual figure.
Asheville, home to more than 8,465 hotel rooms and counting, is providing a pathway for hotel operators to rack up some major brownie points by incorporating sustainable features and practices in plans for new hotel construction.
“If it was truly perceived as an emergency, then I think we would be doing more and talking about it more,” says Asheville City Council member Kim Roney, who was elected in November on a platform that included a local Green New Deal and rapid renewable energy deployment.
The resolution would commit city government to meeting all of its energy needs from 100 percent renewable sources by the end of 2030. A previous version also called for all energy demand in the city to make the renewable transition “as soon as practicable,” but this goal is absent from the language Council will vote to approve.
The plurality of Asheville city government’s greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal year 2017 — roughly 9,100 tons — came from burning fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, to create electricity. That number could drop to zero by the end of the next decade, however, should Asheville adopt a resolution currently under development by the city’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment.
After years of progress toward waste and carbon emission reduction goals, the city hit a wall in 2017, according to a report presented to Asheville City Council on April 10. Asked for bright ideas about how sustainability efforts can get back on track to achieve long-term goals, city staffers said that, without significant additional investment, progress is likely to be limited to incremental gains.
The past year has brought a few changes to the organization, including new coordinator Kiera Bulan.
Planners with the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center presented a progress report on their efforts to create a climate-resiliency plan for the city of Asheville. The presentation took place on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Collider in the Wells Fargo building downtown.
Government agencies and departments from Buncombe County and the City of Asheville are pursuing a slew of initiatives that will reduce the barriers to active modes of transportation like walking, biking and using public transit. In addition to their environmental benefits, these coordinated efforts also promote mobility, health and well-being.