Fairfax County to Address Global Climate Change


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

March 15, 2007

Fairfax County to Address Global Climate Change With Sierra Club and National Partners

Chairman Gerald E. Connolly Unveils “Cool Counties” Initiative in State of the County Address

(Editor's note: the chairman's State of the County address is available in PDF format.)

During his annual State of the County address today, March 15, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly announced a “Cool Counties” initiative in which Fairfax is partnering with a select group of counties across the United States and the Sierra Club to create a template for local governments to begin reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in favor of more environmentally friendly practices.

In partnership with the Sierra Club, the “Cool Counties” initiative will identify specific strategies and actions for the nation’s 3,000 counties to adopt as part of the regional, national and global effort to pursue smarter, cleaner energy solutions.

“Fairfax County has been recognized as a leader for its environmental stewardship, and with this new initiative we hope to share our lessons and experiences with our colleagues across the nation as we work toward the shared goal of preserving our natural environment for our children and generations to come,” Connolly said.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) presented Fairfax County with a NACo Achievement Award last year for the county’s 20-year Environmental Agenda, which was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in July 2004 as part of Connolly’s six-point agenda, and the companion Environmental Improvement Program developed by county staff for implementation of that vision. The program, the first in the county’s history, is designed to link environmental goals and objectives at all levels of county decision-making and to provide a strategic approach to prioritizing environmental actions. The board has implemented more than $6 million worth of projects and programs to address air quality and global climate since 2003.

Fairfax, along with its other national partners and the Sierra Club, will unveil a working draft of the “Cool Counties” initiative at the NACo annual conference in Richmond this July. 

A number of “Cool County” strategies have already been implemented in Fairfax County, including the purchase of hybrid vehicles (now totaling 90 vehicles), the promotion of green buildings for both public and private facilities (the Fairfax Center and Crosspointe Fire Stations, for example), the purchase of wind power (5.8 million kilowatt hours during a two-year period accounting for 5 percent of all county electricity) and the utilization of telework (Fairfax County was the first jurisdiction in the metropolitan region to achieve the goal of having 20 percent of its workforce teleworking one day a week).

The full text of Connolly’s State of the County address is attached. The address will be rebroadcast on Fairfax County Government Channel 16 at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays and at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. The address also may be viewed anytime online through the county’s Video on Demand at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cable/.

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For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.

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