Climate Action Programs
Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is an ambitious and necessary goal. To get there we need transformative action in three areas.
First, we require swift action to reduce the operational emissions that are released when we heat and cool our homes, drive our cars, and run our businesses. A focus on reducing operational emissions is called mitigation, and it will help to limit global warming. Aggressive mitigation is essential to reaching our goal, but on its own mitigation is not enough.
Second, we need to reduce the amount of carbon emitted when we create the materials we build with. These are emissions that are associated with the extraction, manufacturing, and transportation of materials, for example, the insulation we use in our homes. While these emissions account for only 11% of emissions globally, their impact on the climate is entirely up-front and cannot be mitigated in the future. This type of emission is called embodied carbon, and to meet our local and global net-zero emissions targets, we need to reduce it.
Finally, because we’ll continue to have some operational emissions over the next 30 years, we need to find ways to achieve negative emissions (to store or sequester carbon). We can do this through reforestation, ecosystem restoration, or even the use of plant-based building materials. These strategies also help our communities to adapt to the changes in climate that we’re already experiencing, and make us more resilient to future impacts.
GreenUP’s Climate Action programs advance local efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate chance, and directly connect to regional Climate Change Action Plans. Click here to ready GreenUP’s Community Climate Action Resource.