Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan
From the Mayor
Dallas is a dynamic and vibrant city that has always handled significant challenges with a collaborative approach and an indomitable spirit. And our city’s problem-solving culture has been on full display as we have looked to address the effects of climate change. The City of Dallas released its first Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) on April 22, 2020 - the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day - in recognition of the need for community-oriented and data-driven solutions to the environmental challenges we face as a city, a state, and a nation.
Through the goals and concrete actions outlined in the plan, Dallas can achieve significant and measurable reductions in carbon emissions, enhance environmental quality for our most vulnerable residents, and create a more sustainable infrastructure that can withstand the negative effects of climate change.
With equity and inclusion as core values, the CECAP proposes solutions that will improve our natural environment, our educational and economic outcomes, the affordability of our housing stock, and our transportation systems.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND CLIMATE ACTION IN DALLAS
Dallas residents are familiar with Texas’ extreme weather—from flooding and storms, to heatwaves and drought. By 2050, Dallas is likely to experience a 5° F increase in mean temperature during summer months if global greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. Climate models also predict a decrease in overall annual precipitation, and an increase in the frequency, intensity, and length of severe droughts. Over the next few decades, seasonal swings in weather will be extreme, with colder, wetter winters and hotter, dryer summers. Climate change will impact every part of daily life in Dallas. Climate change will also impact the sensitive urban ecosystem balances that provide food, water and habitat to plant, animal and human life. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas estimates that: “Severe weather events can have a substantial human and economic cost and are likely to have a negative impact on the region’s longerterm business prospects and migration trends.”
Climate change will affect everyone, but not everyone will be affected equally—the effects of climate change will disproportionately impact communities with the least means to adapt, and who have been burdened with negative historic environmental impacts. These vulnerable communities are predominantly located in the southern and western sectors of Dallas.
The City recognizes environmental injustices of the past and elevates solutions to address them, placing equity at the center of this effort towards a more resilient future. The City of Dallas is committed to meeting the international emission reduction targets set by the Paris Agreement in 2016 and the goal to keep warming at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius. In 2017, Mayor Rawlings signed the Climate Mayors’ National Climate Agreement in support of the Paris Agreement. In 2019, Mayor Johnson re-affirmed the City’s ongoing commitment to protecting the community from the impacts of climate change and supporting measures to reduce GHG emissions.