Mesa Climate Action Plan Drives Sustainable Change for Mesa

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~ Mesa, Arizona - Since the adoption of the Mesa Climate Action Plan (MCAP) in 2021, the city has been actively investing in various climate projects to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. With a total investment of $15.4 million, these projects have been implemented across different departments to promote clean air initiatives, heat mitigation, smart energy use, water stewardship, sustainable food systems, and materials management.

Mayor John Giles expressed his satisfaction with the progress made so far during the April 15 Mesa City Council study session. "These initiatives show that Mesa is serious about our climate action goals. We are making progress, but we need to keep working hard to make our community more resilient. We have a good plan, and we need to keep moving forward," he said.

The investments made in MCAP have not only enhanced the city's infrastructure but also made it more climate-efficient. This includes replacing streetlights with energy-efficient ones, electrifying Mesa's fleet of vehicles, and supporting utility-scale solar projects. The Grass-to-Xeriscape program has also been successful in engaging the public to participate in sustainability efforts by offering up to $1,100 as a benefit for homeowners who replace their water-thirsty lawns with desert-friendly landscapes.

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City Manager Chris Brady emphasized that goodwill alone is not enough to protect the environment and praised Mesa's decisive steps towards a more sustainable future. "These investments are future-proofing Mesa and allowing us to plan for healthier and more sustainable communities," he said. He also acknowledged the involvement of all city departments in driving these projects forward.

Over the past three years, Mesa has launched several sustainability projects as part of MCAP. These include the Flare to Fuel Project which converts methane gas from the water treatment plant into renewable natural gas for city vehicles. This project is also the first phase of the Food Waste to Energy Project.

The Trees Are Cool Initiative, which aims to plant 1,000,000 new trees by 2050, has also been successful in engaging the community. This includes a new shade tree program for Mesa Electric customers, community tree planting events, and new trees in parks, transit stops, and around city buildings. Additionally, an agreement with SRP supports a program that uses materials from forest thinning projects to generate renewable energy and restore resilient forests in northern Arizona while protecting Mesa's watershed.

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The city's efforts have also been supplemented by over $14 million in grant funding secured through MCAP. These funds have been used for various projects such as implementing the Electric Vehicle Action Plan through a $11.8 million Department of Transportation grant and enhancing the Water Use It Wisely regional water conservation campaign.

To further drive MCAP, Mesa has committed an additional $5.4 million for fiscal year 24/25. This includes funding for solar and electric vehicle charging for city vehicles, LED lighting conversions at sports fields, continued work on the food waste-to-energy project, grass removal at municipal buildings, and more neighborhood tree-planting programs.

For more information on Mesas climate action plan and its community-focused goals, visit mesaaz.gov/climateaction. The city remains committed to its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and is continuously working towards creating a more sustainable future for its residents.

Filed Under: Government, City

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