Fairfax County is continuing its journey toward a more sustainable and healthier future with the launch of the Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan, or CECAP. This community-oriented initiative will develop the county’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and identify actions community members can take to help achieve those goals.
The CECAP was first proposed to the county’s Board of Supervisors in April 2019 during a meeting of the Board’s Environmental Committee. With Board support, the Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination (OEEC) then developed the process for creating this unique plan, including the establishment of nine district-level Focus Groups and a Task Force composed of wide variety of community stakeholders. The OEEC also secured the services of both the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Fairfax-based management consulting firm ICF to support the process.
With the Focus Group kicking off their work this week, it’s a great time to review the five “Ws” of the CECAP:
- Who: The first word in CECAP is “community” and for good reason. In addition to community participation in the Focus Groups and Task Force, the CECAP process will include multiple opportunities for the broader community to provide input. This input will help shape the goals, strategies and activities that will define our greenhouse gas mitigation efforts for years to come.
- What: The CECAP will include several major deliverables, beginning with an updated comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory for Fairfax County and models to show how emissions could change over time depending on actions. The CECAP will then develop the county’s science-based climate and energy goals and identify strategies and activities in sectors including transportation, energy and buildings to help us to meet these goals.
- When: The CECAP Focus Groups and Task Force will meet for the first time in January 2020. The entire process, including preparation of a final report for submission to the Board of Supervisors, is expected to last around 18 months and end in mid-2021.
- Where: Task Force meeting dates, locations and materials can be found on the Task Force site. Focus Group meeting dates, locations and materials can be found on the Focus Groups page. Community meetings will be held at several key points in the planning process and will be announced on the main CECAP site.
- Why: Climate-related changes driven by greenhouse gas emissions are underway. These changes are expected to increasingly impact residents’ health and well-being and affect the natural and built environments in Fairfax County. The CECAP process will coordinate and align community actions to reduce Fairfax County’s greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the impact of climate change on our community and region.