Cities Initiative

Cities are taking action on carbon emissions

The Cities Initiative is a collaborative effort among North Carolina local governments that are working to reduce their GHG emissions. The non-profit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is leading this initiative.

The Initiative - Phase 1:

During Phase 1 in 2018, a dozen cities from across North Carolina collaborated in four roundtable discussions on reducing carbon emissions to evaluate barriers, business needs, and partnership opportunities.

Elected leaders and senior staff from Cities Initiative communities identified 12 action items to speed up meaningful GHG reductions in North Carolina:

  • Obtain additional locally-controlled transportation revenue
  • Adjust State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) allocations
  • Incorporate GHG scoring for state-funded projects
  • Develop a voluntary carbon credit tracking system
  • Aggregate data access at a safe level to allow for program prioritization
  • Create a utility billing platform that helps cities and customers understand energy use
  • Allow for new renewable energy procurement options
  • Increase speed and transparency of the interconnection process
  • Address barriers to Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) in North Carolina
  • Develop a local government supported green energy bank
  • Improve energy impact of building codes
  • Change makeup of the NC Building Code Council

NC DEQ plans to incorporate the 12 consensus action items in the development of the State’s new Clean Energy Plan, a part of the Governor’s recent executive order on climate change.

The Initiative - Phase 2:

The second phase of the Cities Initiative launched in spring. The goal of the second phase is to develop strategies to implement the consensus action items.

A series of half-day roundtables over the next two years with 12 original cities and any additional local governments who are interested in joining will help define the path forward.

If your municipality or county is interested in joining the initiative, please contact Zach Ambrose.