If a city or other public agency is serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their community, the following climate neutral bonding policy (tailored for each city’s or other jurisdiction’s specific needs) should be one of the tools in its global warming toolbox.
This resolution will require that bonded projects result in no net increases in global warming pollutants within the community. It requires the city to adopt a selection of acceptable global warming pollution reduction strategies within the community such as energy efficiency, renewable electricity, passive solar, cogeneration conversion, fuel switching, carbon sequestration and purchases of carbon offset credits.
The resolution below is written primarily for the communities that have signed on to the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement but can certainly be modified to suit the needs of any community and could also be applied at the state level.
Please contact John Bailey if you are interested in moving this resolution forward in your community.
THE CLIMATE NEUTRAL BONDING RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, the [INSERT CITY NAME] wishes to adopt strong policy resolutions calling for a reduction of global warming pollution; and
WHEREAS, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international community’s most respected assemblage of scientists, has found that climate disruption is a reality and that human activities are largely responsible for increasing concentrations of global warming pollution; and
WHEREAS, on February 16, 2005, the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to address climate disruption, went into effect in the 141 countries that have ratified it to date; 38 of those countries are now legally required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on average 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012; and
WHEREAS, the United States of America, with less than five percent of the world’s population, is responsible for producing approximately 25 percent of the world’s global warming pollutants; and
WHEREAS, the Kyoto Protocol emissions reduction target for the U.S. would have been 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012; and
WHEREAS, many cities throughout the nation, both large and small, are reducing global warming pollutants through programs that provide economic and quality of life benefits such as reduced energy bills, green space preservation, air quality improvements, reduced traffic congestion, improved transportation choices, and economic development and job creation through energy conservation and new energy technologies; and
WHEREAS, the city of [INSERT CITY NAME] has signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement which, as amended at the 73rd Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, commits the city to meet or exceed Kyoto Protocol targets for reducing global warming pollution by taking actions in our own operations and in the wider community:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
Section 1: the city of [INSERT NAME] will require all future individual projects above $[INSERT AMOUNT OR SQUARE FEET] involving the issuance of municipal bonds to add no net increase in global warming pollution to community-wide emissions levels.
Section 2: the city of [INSERT NAME] will establish the criteria necessary to evaluate a proposed project’s ability to offset increases in global warming pollution.
Section 3: the city of [INSERT NAME] will adopt a selection of acceptable global warming pollution reduction strategies within the community that may include but are not limited to energy efficiency, renewable electricity, passive solar, cogeneration, fuel switching, carbon sequestration, and purchases of carbon offset credits.
Section 4: the city of [INSERT NAME] will monitor global warming pollution reduction efforts and evaluate and quantify the emission reductions that occur related to the bonding projects.
This resolution becomes effective upon final approval.
- Climate Neutral Bonding: Building Global Warming Solutions at the State And Local Level – This February 2006 policy brief by John Bailey [Institute for Local Self-Reliance] provides background and analysis to support a state or local policy that would require construction projects funded with tax-exempt bonds to result in no net increases in greenhouse gases within the community.