When we speak with local officials, they often tell us that they want to act on climate change, but that they need support from constituents. From every side of the political spectrum, we hear good intentions. We don’t see enough good work.
People of faith want to protect our shared home and vulnerable neighbors. Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions is faith leaders’ pipeline to local climate progress.
In 2019, FACS’ Fairfax to Zero campaign will continue to press for Fairfax County to become a leader in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. We will partner with all sectors to make this happen – businesses, developers, healthcare and educational institutions, governments and congregations.
Specifically, FACS asks:
County Government Operations. Adopt a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that fully funds the county operations energy plan and establishes a dedicated revenue stream to support these kinds of energy efficiency/renewable energy recommendations into the future. Ensure a full one-year review of the plan to include metrics, cost-savings and tactics; including a review of mapping GHG reductions against commitments made as part of the Cool Counties Pledge. Review should incorporate alignment of strategies and goals with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Regional Climate Action Plan, with an aim for Fairfax County to fully contribute to its share of the responsibility in the region. Replace all street lights throughout the county with LED lights. This action will save the county approximately $3.5 million per year. After two years, the county should invest those savings in other energy savings projects, like replacing lights in all county buildings with LED lights.
Community-wide Climate Action Plan. Fund the development of a community-wide Climate Action Plan that will establish specific goals and metrics for achieving the commitment the Board of Supervisors made when it signed the Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration on July 16, 2017. The plan must also delineate how the county will address climate impacts on its most vulnerable populations including a resiliency strategy.
Public-Private Sustainability Coalition. Establish a public-private sustainability coalition that will energize, promote, and showcase best energy saving practices and encourage and incentivize businesses and homeowners to adopt them.
Renewable Energy. Prioritize actions and strategies to move Fairfax County to 100% clean energy. Actions will include fast tracking the Request for Proposals for Solar Purchase Power Agreements (PPA), and finalize a contract to install solar on county buildings. Additionally, Fairfax County should support legislation that removes barriers to customer-sited solar and on-site solar.
County staffing to support Climate and Energy Goals. Support county staff by increasing staffing levels for energy and climate functions and by establishing a dedicated Climate and Energy Office reporting directly to the County Executive. Without an effective organizational structure and adequate resources, implementation of key recommendations is highly uncertain, and the county is unlikely to maximize energy cost savings or meet its own climate goals.
The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (C-PACE) Follow through on enacting an ordinance necessary to support a C-PACE Program so that the program is implemented by late 2019. This action will provide critical financing to supercharge the inclusion of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in eligible buildings, thereby supporting the County’s goals to repurpose and revitalize underutilized buildings.
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions is a 501(c)(3) organization, and does not engage in partisan activities. We do not work for or against specific candidates or parties. All are welcome at the table.