First-Ever Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan Sets Ambitious but Achievable Goals
for County Residents, Businesses, and Other Stakeholders
FAIRFAX, Va. – September 14, 2021 – Today, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors accepted the county’s first Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan. The plan, referred as CECAP, sets a goal of achieving carbon neutrality within the community by 2050, with 87 percent of emission reductions attributable to local action as opposed to carbon offsets. CECAP also includes interim and sector-specific emission reduction goals as well as recommended strategies and actions for residents, businesses, and other county stakeholders to take.
Among the sector-specific goals included in the final plan are retrofitting at least 100,000 housing units with energy efficiency measures by 2030, and increasing transit and non-motorized commuting to 30 percent, including telework, by 2030. These goals directly address the two largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Fairfax County: energy use in buildings, with 49 percent of total emissions, and transportation with 44 percent.
The plan outlines 12 strategies, such as implementing green building standards for new buildings and increasing the production of onsite renewable energy. Within the strategies, 37 actions are specified such as supporting the use and improvement of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure or expanding the county’s tree canopy. Together, the strategies and actions are intended to empower individuals and organizations within the community to take part and contribute to the emissions reductions required to achieve carbon neutrality.
“The Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan establishes an ambitious goal of carbon neutrality for our community by 2050, and I know that we are capable of achieving this,” said Jeff McKay, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. “CECAP is a roadmap that will take us from the status quo to a future that is cleaner, greener, and far more sustainable. We owe it to ourselves, our neighbors, and future generations of Fairfax County residents to take the recommended actions in this plan.”
“The CECAP Working Group did a tremendous job of developing a grassroots plan to address and engage everyone in our communities to reduce our local greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dan Storck, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Environmental Committee. “The leadership of our residents, businesses and organizations, so essential to developing CECAP, becomes even more critical as we move from planning to actions, to achieve the results needed for a carbon neutral future.”
Unlike other climate action plans created by comparable municipalities across the United States, CECAP was developed by a working group composed of community members and representatives from area businesses and nonprofits. The Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination (OEEC), management consulting firm ICF, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments advised the CECAP Working Group and managed the planning process.
Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination