Nashville Metro Council passed a resolution establishing a target of an 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 2014 levels by 2050.
The goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions is part of Cooper’s Sustainability Advisory Committee Report on the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County’s Climate Change Mitigation Action Plan that was issued in 2021. The report recommends that Davidson adhere to the Paris Climate agreement goal of limiting average global temperature rise to no higher than 2ºC “above preindustrial levels.”
President Trump famously withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, which came about under President Obama. One of the first acts taken by the Biden administration was to rejoin the agreement.
RS2022-1358, a “resolution adopting a Metropolitan Government community-wide target of an 80% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2014 levels by 2050.” It was sponsored by council members Zach Young, Tonya Hancock, Russ Bradford, Burkley Allen, Freddie OConnell, Ginny Welsch, and Emily Benedict.
The resolution states:
WHEREAS, in the absence of significant actions, Nashville and Davidson County may face myriad climate risks, including an increased number of intense storms and tornadoes, more frequent flooding and extreme heat days per year, and adverse effects from the economic and social disruptions resulting from climate change local and globally; and
WHEREAS, climate-related risks present equivalent opportunities to foster innovation and creativity that can enhance community livability, equity, and economic development; and
WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, including the Metropolitan Council, Metro boards and commissions, and community partners have taken action to commit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including passage of legislation; and
WHEREAS, in December 2019, Mayor John Cooper joined 474 other U.S. mayors in signing onto the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, a global coalition of city leaders dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, making their communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change, and providing access to sustainable energy; and
WHEREAS, Nashville’s participation in the Global Covenant of Mayors requires ambitious local climate and energy action and a transition to a low-emission and resilient urban environment to benefit public and environmental health and to lay the foundation for a prosperous economy; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor’s Sustainability Advisory Committee Report on Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Climate Change Mitigation Action, and prior sustainability reports, recommend adoption of a Metro government and community-wide target of an 80% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2014 levels by 2050; and
WHEREAS, between 2014 and 2017, Nashville achieved a 9.8% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions; and
WHEREAS, beginning in January 2022, the Metropolitan Government will update its annual greenhouse gas emissions for Metro and the community for calendar year 2019, providing another datapoint that can indicate continued progress towards this goal, enabling recurring efforts to measure Metro and community greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis and to make this information available to the public.
The resolution ends with the statement that Metro Council goes on record adopting the 80 percent reduction of annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2014 levels by 2050.
This comes after the January 5 vote by Metro Council to eliminate emissions testing in Davidson County. The EPA determined that the removal of testing is consistent with the Clean Air Act and authorized localities in Tennessee to end testing. The emissions testing program in Davidson County officially ends on Friday.
Other cities in the United States have set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, San Diego, California created a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania also set a goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030.
– – –