“Dallas is a healthy, safe and economically vibrant city. But to be a truly resilient city, Dallas must prepare for the effects of climate change. I want Dallas to continue to be a leader in efforts to reduce emissions and improve our air quality. Through our collective efforts and a focus on common-sense, data-driven solutions, we can ensure that our great city continues to thrive in the decades to come.”
– Mayor Eric Johnson
What Are the Risks?
Climate change will have a profound impact on the future of Dallas. We are already beginning to feel many of the effects today.
Higher Temperatures & Poor Air Quality
The average annual temperature will increase in Dallas, especially if we do not begin to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. In climate models, this is referred to as the “high emissions scenario”. Temperatures during the summer are frequently over 100°F, and by the middle of this century, we can expect about 30-60 MORE days over 100°F under the high emissions scenario. These heat waves will be more frequent, hotter, and longer than the ones we have experienced historically. Not only does this pose a health threat by heat stroke and other heat-related illness, but it also creates stagnant air conditions, resulting in poor air quality. Extreme heat also increases stress on the energy supply, and combined with cold, wet winters, will also shorten the lifespan of our roads.
What Is the City doing?
The City of Dallas is committed to meeting the international emissions reduction targets set by the Paris Agreement in 2016. Former Mayor Mike Rawlings signed the Mayors Climate Agreement and committed his support to meeting these targets.
“With no current state or federal action on climate change, it is apparent that local governments must shoulder the burden," said Mayor Rawlings in a statement. "The City of Dallas accepts this responsibility and is actively working towards building a greener, more resilient city. Addressing climate change should not be a controversial or partisan issue, and local leaders and the marketplace should work together in pursuing climate action."
“That’s why I am excited that we have approved funding for a Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan. The City’s Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability will have the resources and responsibility to chart a path of environmental and climate action for the coming years in alignment with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”
Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP)
The Dallas Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP) will create a comprehensive roadmap that outlines the specific activities that the City can undertake to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve environmental quality in the city. It will build upon our understanding of the climate and other environmental challenges facing Dallas, existing efforts by the City and other stakeholders, information synthesized in Dallas' most recent GHG Inventory, and with community input. The Plan will focus on activities that can achieve the greatest emission reductions and deliver the most benefits to communities most affected by climate change impacts.
The first and foremost concern of the Dallas CECAP is quality of life. The plan will focus on reducing impacts of climate change on the city as well as the impact of the city on the climate and at the same time creating co-benefits for the entire community.
The plan’s goals include:
Prepare the community for the impacts of climate change.
Create a healthier and more prosperous community by addressing climate change.
Reduce GHG emissions.
Encourage residents and business to take action!
Here are a few examples of similar plans from other Texas cities: Houston Climate Action Plan, Austin Community Climate Plan, and San Antonio Climate Ready: A Pathway for Climate Action and Adaptation.
is not just about emissions reductions. The CECAP is about improving overall public health, resilience, and quality of life in Dallas.