The Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department (ARA) recommends that City Council adopt an ordinance amending Article XVI, Chapter 2 of the City’s Code of Ordinances by creating the Office of Sustainability to implement the Houston Climate Action Plan (CAP) and provide support on matters pertaining to greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation.
Although the City of Houston has maintained an office dedicated to sustainability efforts since the Brown Administration, neither the City’s Office of Sustainability nor GHG mitigation responsibilities have ever been formally established. By codifying the Office of Sustainability and Climate Action Plan and planning process, the City is formally recognizing its commitment to GHG emission mitigation and institutionalizing the City’s climate action planning process.
Under the proposed ordinance, the Office of Sustainability shall:
· Require the city to establish, adopt, implement, and regularly update a CAP (at least every 5 years) and greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory (at least 4 years);
· Coordinate city-wide GHG emissions, climate, energy, and sustainability reporting;
· Educate the public and private sectors regarding best practices to reduce GHG emissions from building, energy, transportation, and materials management activities;
· Develop policies and procedures to guide city departments in implementing the CAP and reducing municipal GHG emissions;
· Establish an open, inclusive, public process for engaging the diverse ethnic, cultural, and economic communities in the development, implementation and update of the CAP; and
· Require city departments to designate a sustainability liaison and coordinate with the Sustainability Office on emission reduction programs and the CAP.
The Office of Sustainability will maintain, and strive to increase, both awareness of the CAP and participation in its implementation, from large GHG emitters to communities most adversely impacted by climate change. The ordinance will go into effect immediately.
Departmental Approval Authority:
Tina Paez, Director Other Authorization
Administration & Regulatory