Fighting Climate Change & Arlington’s Environment
Arlington has been at the forefront of local environmental leadership for decades; during my tenure as Vice Chair of the Board, the County became the U.S. first-ever “LEED Platinum Community.” But as our global climate crisis worsens, and with Arlington County increasingly impacted by extreme weather events, I believe our community must redouble our efforts.
So, as my colleagues and I prepare to adopt an update to our Community Energy Plan, I’ve endorsed an aggressive target of making Arlington as a Carbon Neutral Community by 2050: a zero emissions goal, paired with a target of 100% energy from renewable sources. This target assumes action not just from the County itself - such as electrification of our vehicle fleets and achievement of net-zero public buildings - but also partnership from the private sector and advances in both the markets and state regulatory landscape surrounding renewable energy.
Above all, I will continue the fight for a sustainable public transit system, which is an essential, foundational element to our region’s ability to grow in population without adding more cars, sprawl and emissions. Accessible transit also matters deeply for equity and social and economic opportunity – goals that have become increasingly, and admirably, intertwined with the environmental movement in this era of the “Green New Deal.”
In addition to reducing emissions and adopting alternative forms of energy, Arlington also has an important stewardship role for the natural resources within our 26 square miles. I’m committed to - and excited about - implementing key features of our newly-adopted Public Spaces Master Plan over the next four years, including:
- Exploration and development of “Biophilic Cities” principles and practices for Arlington, to prioritize natural spaces and features in our land use planning and site plan review processes
- New policies for parkland acquisition guided by areas of greatest need (i.e. high population densities and/or lower current levels of service), to make access to parks more equitable throughout Arlington